Anton/Kostya. Across the hall, Anton's door stares back at him, faceless and final. Movieverse, post-Day Watch.
Cool air slips through the narrow space between door and frame. In the hallway outside, a heavy, stumbling tread sends echoes down the floorboards. Kostya touches his forehead to the door, runs his hand down the frame until the metal of the latch is sharp beneath the tips of his fingers.
He opens his eyes as he opens the door.
"You're home late," he says. The jamb digs into his shoulder. "Kill any Dark Others tonight?"
Anton hardly looks his way. "Kostya," he says, and then he's gone, slipped into the shadows of his apartment like he's been eaten by the Gloom.
Kostya's bones ache, his vision sears to white, and blood pumps screaming like ravens into his skull. Heat escapes the apartment, waves of it pushing past him to mingle with the chill seeping from the elevator shaft. The music thumping behind him deadens into white noise.
Across the hall, Anton's door stares back at him, faceless and final.
He looks over his shoulder, rolls his head to crack his neck, and his gaze drags back to Anton's door, fixates on the flaws in the paint. There are many, more than Kostya can count. Two steps and a lost heartbeat and Kostya is slamming his fist against the scratches that run parallel like clawmarks.
Putting his ear near the wood only makes the muted sounds of the television decipherable. "Anton!" The door shakes under his fist. "Open up!"
"What?" Anton says, the pale lines of his face appearing inches away from Kostya's. Anton draws back, the flicker of his eyes vague behind the lenses of his sunglasses.
"I have my license," Kostya tells him. It's different this time. Everything is, and yet, so much has been left the same that it drives him mad. Like most Others, his father remembers nothing, but for Kostya, memories of the future and of the past are a scramble in his head, the lives he's lived run into one another like melted wax.
"Congratulations," Anton says, and closes the door.
Kostya blocks it with his foot. "Is that all?" he asks, and the crackling hiss in his ears roars louder. Anton cocks his head to the side as if he can hear it too.
"Should there be more?" Anton pulls his glasses off, curling them in his palm, careless of smudges. He steps back and the door creaks open on its own weight. The plastic stems of his sunglasses click as he folds them and shoves them on a shelf.
Kostya's chest crushes inward. He remembers pain searing hot, a dagger grating past his bones and devouring his powers, draining his /life/. He died for Anton and had felt no regret. "How about a party then," he says, catching Anton by the shoulder.
"A party." Anton's eyes are burdened, wounded by visions and the weight of guilt, but not this time for his own flesh who has yet to come into his own. Kostya mentions neither Yegor nor Svetlana as the shadows of Anton's apartment swallow him, too.
"What do you have to drink?" he asks, sliding past Anton to head for the kitchen.
"See for yourself," Anton says, disappearing down the hall and leaving Kostya to search on his own.
The shelves of the refrigerator rattle when Kostya jerks the handle. Bottles of cheap beer and little else stare back at him, the refrigerator looking a lot like his own when the shopping is left to his father.
Not that they need to eat so much as /drink/, but even if Anton likes to pretend otherwise, he is human.
Kostya takes two beers and cracks them open on the side the cabinets. He flicks his tongue out to taste a curl of frosty air before downing a mouthful and hunting around for Anton. Anton hasn't gone far, Kostya finds him in the bedroom, the light in there as feeble as the one in the fridge.
"Have you decided, yet?" Anton asks. The bluish glow from the television fans across his cheek, shines in his hair. He waves Kostya in to where the stack of mattresses doubles as a bed and a couch, and gives a token toast once Kostya passes him a beer.
Kostya drops to sit beside him, stares at the crappy reception on the television, and rubs absently at the spot in the centre of his chest. "Decided what?"
"Who it will be?"
The label on the bottle peels away under the digging edge of Kostya's thumbnail, leaving only strips of glue on the glass. He scrapes his teeth over his lip. "Not yet."
"Man, woman, young, old? Big maybe, or all bones like the little girl who—"
"I said, not yet," Kostya snarls, vision flashing into something crystalline and sharp.
Anton sips his beer. "I was only asking."
"Only asking," Kostya repeats, and he tries not to think about why he cares so much about what Anton thinks. Why he wants so much for Anton to care. "No more questions," he says, edging forward to drop the bottle to the floor where it will be in easy reach.
He turns, drops a hand onto Anton's knee and remembers how things have gone before as he slides his fingers up.
"What are you doing?" Anton says, shifting, nervous. His eyes flare to echo Kostya's hunger, know it for what it is.
Kostya slides to the floor, presses his forehead to Anton's leg, rubs his lips against faded denim and smells death soaked into the seams. He wonders which Dark Other the Night Watch has killed. He wonders if he would die for Anton again. He squeezes it all aside as he glances up and recognises in the shape of Anton's mouth that if he pushes, Anton will fold, tense silence crumbling into a moan delivered in that quiet way of his. The lines between Dark and Light will blur all over again.
"No more questions, Anton. Please."