Story: Radial: Unravel
Challenge: Blueberry Yoghurt #18 - Out Of My Hands; Marmalade #21 - Ticket
Word Count: 1,132
Summary: Alex receives an instruction he's really not happy with; the filing cabinets suffer for it.
Notes: I have absolutely no idea what Alex has against Germany.
The door slammed into the wall with enough force to make the clock bounce and clatter down onto the table below, and Milos wondered briefly whether Alex would notice if he hid beneath his desk. The man was clearly in a foul mood; he racked his brains to think what it was he’d done now that might provoke this level of frustration but came up blank. He’d not had anything to do, not since they’d got back, and he’d been just fine yesterday...
Alex slapped something flat and glossy down on his desk and stalked towards the rack of filing cabinets, ripping each one open, then clanging it closed again when he couldn’t find what he wanted. “For fuck’s sake, this is fucking bullshit.”
Even if he was probably going to regret asking, he found himself speaking anyway. “What happened?”
A folder skittered across the desk, then another and another, before Alex snarled out an answer. “Look at the ticket.”
It took him two attempts to grab it without being hit by the increasing onslaught of brown cards whose contents were starting to spill out across the cheap laminate. It was cold to the touch, emblazoned with an improbably tropical scene that was at odds with the words printed on the card inside. “Germany?”
“Fucking Germany. I fucking hate Germany.” He flung another drawer shut again, then kicked the cabinet hard enough to dent it for good measure.
“What’s wrong with Germany?”
Alex gave him a withering look as if that explained everything, then tried to open the drawer he’d just kicked. On this third attempt he succeeded; when he didn’t find anything relevant inside he kicked it shut again harder than before. Milos very almost felt sorry for it. “Germany is what’s wrong with Germany.”
“That doesn’t make sense.” He caught the folder that came flying at his head before the papers it contained escaped. “Why do you have to go?”
Alex paused with one hand wrapped so hard around a drawer’s handle that his knuckles stood out, and gave Milos an unreadable stare. “Interesting. And it’s a retrieval, an escaped prisoner. Utter fucking bullshit but he’s British so we have to fetch him back.”
Out of habit, or at least through Alex’s rigorous criticising, Milos began to scoop the papers back into their correct containers and stack them neatly in alphabetical order. “What’s interesting?”
“You didn’t assume you were going too.”
Milos shrugged, flicking through the labels to make sure they were all correct. “I can’t speak German and I don’t have a passport, why would I be going?”
Alex turned back to the cabinets, his face obscured by the angle. “You have a passport. I sorted that out myself after you joined. It’s kept with everyone else’s.” He wrenched another drawer open, but without the same level of venom as before. “I said you should go too. You need the experience. But I don’t get a say in it, apparently. He said no.” The drawer crashed shut again, the sound echoing around the small office; obviously the lull in mood was only temporary. “That bastard had the nerve to ask if it’s because I’m fucking you, like I can’t go a fucking week or two—” He kicked the cabinet again, adding another dent. “Jesus. When the hell is Nazarian getting back?!”
“When he’s well enough to.” He had a passport?
Kicking the cabinet again—that drawer was never going to open now—Alex snorted and stomped back over to Milos’s desk and its neatly arranged pile of documents. “That’s their fucking fault too. If they hadn’t kept moving him around like bait—” He stopped and shook his head. “Or if he hadn’t gone off on his own like that.”
Milos found himself wondering if Alex was finally discovering a sense of admiration for their supervisor.
Alex snatched up the files and slammed them down onto his own desk with a growl of “fucking idiot.”
Maybe not. “Why do I have a passport?”
“What?” He flung himself into his chair, sending it crashing backwards into the wall where it left a black scuff over the cream paint, and glared at Milos. “Why wouldn’t you? Although,” he transferred the foul look to the stack of folders, “it’s a good thing you didn’t know about it last year, isn’t it?”
Milos swallowed and stared down at his desk.
“And now I’m stuck going to a country I hate with people I loathe,” he jerked open one of the folders and made a poor show of reading the contents—his eyes weren’t following the text in the slightest, locked instead on a fixed point clearly without seeing it—“while you fuck up my filing for however long I’m gone. This could not get worse if it fucking tried.”
A narrow face with close-cropped salt and pepper hair peered around the door, its owner’s gaze flicking from Milos to Alex. “Jaska, come with me.”
Alex turned a look up at their new supervisor that would have made a lesser man recoil. “What?”
“Preliminary intel says that he might be prepared to infect the team with something if he gets the chance. You need to have some supplementary shots.” He gestured with his head. “Come with me. And if you don’t want them to hurt more than they need to, you’ll remember protocol.”
Slapping the folder closed again, Alex rose and snapped, “yes sir.”
His mouth curved into a smile. “Thank you.”
He said nothing as he followed the other man from the room, but Milos could tell just from his face that Alex was now pretty sure that it not only could get worse, it just had. He tried to suppress his own smile, failed and realised he didn’t care; he was on his own, what could Alex do about it?
“I’m glad you find it funny.” Alex snapped from the doorway. “Pass me that pad and try not to look so fucking happy.”
Milos obliged, making no effort to hide his grin. “I won’t fuck up your filing, I swear.”
“If you do, I’ll kick the shit out of you.”
“Maybe. Maybe not.” Alex smirked. “There’s plenty of other things I could do.”
He shouldn’t, he knew he shouldn’t, but Milos found his grin widening. An irritable shout from the corridor had Alex swearing under his breath and ducking back out without another word to the alfa, and Milos slid back into his own seat, propping his feet on the desk. Should he admit that he might actually miss Alex? Not to his face; he’d be unbearable. On the other hand, he was getting a break from him.
He frowned and gnawed on his thumbnail. One thing was for sure, it was going to be an odd couple of weeks.