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A Hitman's Guide to Emergency Gift-Giving

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Those that kill for hire tend to have strange senses of humour. It’s an occupational hazard, some would say, that your jokes become more morbid and you end up sticking out in a group of civilians from having made a few too many jokes about how easy it would be to gut a man and retrieve his kidneys intact to sell to the black market. And a propensity for sticking out in a group of civilians too easily is certainly not good for anyone’s longevity in terms of career or otherwise.

That being said, sometimes Yuuri can’t help but wonder if his job hasn’t warped other sensibilities of his.

To be fair, the man he had just killed had been a thorn in Victor’s side for a very long time, and was a risk to the both of them now.

Yuuri glances over the corpse, the glassy eyes and the ripped-open stomach. Well, not a risk anymore. Not unless he was capable of immortality all of a sudden, but Yuuri highly doubts that.

He touches his own cheek and frowns at the red now spotting his fingertips. Yuuri steps over the cooling body and towards the restroom of the dingy motel room, and he frowns even more at the mess he had made. The sort of mess that comes with impulse kills.

Certainly, Dmitry Vaskovich had been an impulse kill, something that Yuuri had never really done except for the few employers that tried to dispose of him, or anyone that actively came into his home to kill him. But Yuuri had been getting desperate lately, with Victor’s birthday coming up.

He sighs, and spares a look at the body again. “What am I supposed to get for Vitya?” he complains to the empty air.

Once upon a time, a Triad leader made a deal with a Yakuza group. “One of your children for mine,” the man had said, “As a sign of our partnership.” And so Yuuri, the only son of the leaders of the Katsuki-gumi, had been shipped off to Shanghai at age ten. To this day, he doesn’t know who was the other child that replaced him in his family’s home, but with the life he has, Yuuri doesn’t find much time to care.

Fen Xuanyan of the Thousand Fangs is a respectable sort of person, or as respectable as a Triad leader could be. At the very least, he never treated Yuuri cruelly, or gave him reason to try to run back home. The only thing that Yuuri begrudges his guardian sometimes is his flair for the dramatic, but otherwise Yuuri doesn’t dwell on the life he could have had if he hadn’t grown up in the care of the Thousand Fangs.

But sometimes, he wonders if he would have still met Victor, if his past was different.

It’s no matter though, because he has Victor with him now.

Yuuri’s current dilemma stems from this: between him and his husband, they have such a fortune amassed that they could probably buy an island. A small one, that is, but an island nevertheless. There’s little that money can buy that they can’t obtain on their own, so frankly, Yuuri has no idea what to get for Victor for his birthday.

Raunchy marathon sex is sort of a given at this point, having been in a relationship for five years and all. But this year Yuuri wants to give something in addition. (Not that the sex isn’t great, but their relationship had begun because of them constantly surprising each other, so Yuuri wants to surprise this year. And it’s somewhat hard to surprise Victor with his body, considering how much they’ve experimented together. Maybe he should try something with the blueberry lube-)

Yuuri shakes himself out of his head and gets back to doing something about the body. While the bloodstains and the smaller pieces of gore will need to be removed by the hotel, he can at least flush things down the toilet and turn up the heater temporarily to accelerate the rotting; give forensics just a little bit of annoyance.

He can’t help but frown mournfully at the the larger bits of body though. His anxiety gnaws on his ear that maybe he was too messy, left too much evidence on the kill that could be traced to him. Another voice that sounds remarkably like his boss told it to shut up.

What to do with the rest of the body though is a slightly worrying matter. If Yuuri was in China, he would have been able to call on his guardian’s contacts for cleanup. Or if he was in Russia, he could have used his husband’s contacts. But no, right now Yuuri is instead in Poland with a contract that he needs to turn in and an extra dead body.

They first met in Barcelona.

The memory is still clouded over in Yuuri’s mind due to his consumption of roughly 16 glasses of champagne. What he does remember the most though is his guardian’s expression upon walking into his hotel room next to a very naked Victor Nikiforov — as in, one of the Providets Group chief enforcers. Providets of the Russian Bratva.

His boss had had an extremely pinched expression. “Well, you could have picked worse,” he had grunted. “His boss is going to be pissed that he’s not there at the negotiation table today.”

“You’re not mad?”

Yuuri had only gotten a very dry look in response. “Don’t do anything you end up regretting.” And then the door had slammed shut, and Victor was waking up, and Yuuri doesn’t really regret the way they’d fallen together into each other’s arms, that time entirely sober.

“Our groups have an alliance,” Victor had said at some point, his lips brushing the tip of Yuuri’s cock, words as filthy as his saliva on Yuuri.

Yuuri had keened at the loss of contact, the lack of sensation like a hot knife being removed from his gut. “Your point?” he managed to ask.

Victor had smirked, hand coming down to keep Yuuri’s hips on the bed. “The point is, there’s no problem with this.” Us, he’d meant.

At the time, Yuuri hadn’t quite cared. “There will be a problem if you don’t cont-” the rest of the words had fallen into a moan-

And as they say, the rest is history.

Yuuri arrives to the Polish safe house with a box tucked in his side, an Idea, and the memory of several suspicious stares from his latest employer. He also has a voicemail from his husband and a mental clock ticking in his head of how long it will take to get home in time to celebrate properly.

The head of Dmitry Vaskovich jostles around in the box that it’s in as Yuuri sets it down to go take a quick shower. He has roughly a day to get back to St. Petersburg with his husband, but his route to get back home will have to be very roundabout, in order to smuggle the birthday present back as well. While it could be technically be counted as last-minute present, Yuuri hopes that Victor will appreciate the head of one of his longtime enemies as a gift all the same.

He deliberates on it in the shower. He could treat the head so that airport security was think he was bringing back a decorative metal ornament that looked like a human head, but Yuuri doesn’t have that sort of time. Border security would be less likely to look in a box wrapped like a present, and easier to bribe just in case.

From Warsaw To St. Petersburg is a sixteen-hour drive, in ideal traffic.  He’d have to cross four borders for the shortest route, and rent a car, and if all went well, he’d be back in in time to sleep before waking up to celebrate.

The things I do for love.

Eighteen hours later, (sixteen driving with occasional twenty-minute naps and rest stops) Yuuri staggers into their apartment absolutely exhausted. When Makkachin tackles him, he goes down for the count, trained reflexes be damned, and the box is sent flying through the air- into Victor hands. “I’m home,” Yuuri mumbles from under the very happy dog.

“Welcome home,” Victor replies, a curious lilt in his voice. “What’s this?”

“Your birthday present.” Yuuri reaches up to pat Makkachin, luxuriating in finally being safe and at home.

Victor hums, and reaches down to help Yuuri up. Makkachin whines from the loss of pats, an Yuuri gladly buries his face in Victor’s chest, holding onto him. He’d only been gone for a few days for this assignment, but the long drive made the trip extend, gave him more time on the road to miss his husband, miss his home. “Is this why you called to tell me to not pick you up from the airport?” Victor asks. “The flight from Warsaw to here would have only been two hours.”

Yuuri nods, content in the feeling of Victor’s warmth surrounding him. “Didn’t want to deal with airport security for your present,” he says.

He feels Victor’s fond sigh rather than hears it, and in an instant his feet are no longer on the floor, his entire weight supported in Victor’s arms. “Thank you, luchik.” Victor’s voice is soothing, much like the way his fingers are undressing Yuuri now, the softness of the bed that Victor has taken him to. “You didn’t have to.”

“Tomorrow is your birthday,” Yuuri protests weakly.

“And I love everything that you give me, even if it’s yourself.” Fingers pluck Yuuri’s glasses from his face, and he hears the plastic click against the nightstand. “Rest well, dear.”

“I’m home,” Yuuri mumbles again.

There is no hesitation in Victor’s answer. “Welcome home.”

To be honest, Yuuri completely forgets about his present the next day. To be fair, it’s hard to remember mundane things like heads in boxes when he’s busy with things like Victor’s tongue in his ass, being a creature of pleasure rather than murder and absolute obedience to his family.

So Victor’s little trill of delight when they’re in the kitchen, eating cake Yura had dropped off, takes Yuuri by surprise. “You didn’t!” he gasps over the contents of the box much like when he had gasped over Yuuri’s proposal three years ago.

It takes a few seconds to process Victor’s words, and then Yuuri remembers his unfortunate choice of a last-minute present. “I did,” he confirms around a mouthful of cake.

So, maybe giving his loved one the head of one of his lifelong enemies was a questionable decision; gift-giving sensibilities warped by the life that he leads. But honestly, he couldn’t care less about twisted morals now, not when Victor smiles at the head with glee, eyes crinkling at the corners with the sheer force of his smile.

Victor drops the head back in the box, and Yuuri only has three seconds to push the cake aside before Victor is again in his arms, usual adoration mixed with a rare sort of savagery. “I love it,” he says, “Thank you for the gift, Yuuri.”

Maybe Victor manhandles him a little roughly as they fall into bed again, fueled on a strange mix of lust and bloodlust. But Yuuri can’t find it in himself to mind the least, not when the gift was a success and abso- his thoughts hiccup as nails drag down his spine, scraping with just the slightest sort of edge that sets his nerves afire every time.

(A month later, Yura screeches to him on the phone in panic, no idea what to give to Otabek for their anniversary.

“Have you considered the decapitated head of one of his enemies?” Yuuri suggests.

Yura thanks him later.)