by Delilah Summerer

Dimitri missed walking through the streets of Greece, letting the summer heat rake through his clothes, the wind flowing around him before heading off to flutter through the treetops.

Iceland was nothing like that. Part of it was that it was February. Snow covered the ground. Cold smacked his ears, wrapped around his body, leaving him more of an icicle than a boy. Was he a boy? He was 18, boyhood ripped from him.

The people who kidnapped him called him Mitya. That wasn’t his name. His parents named him Dimitri, yes, but his Yiayia called him Dima or Astros. He was more Greek than Russian. It felt wrong to be named in a language he had no intent of visiting. He was not Mitya, the person brought in to help Ren spy on people. He was Dima, who wanted his best friend and his Yiayia to watch movies with him. He wanted to go home.

Wind pushed his face, making him take a few steps back. There was supposed to be a car coming. There was supposed to be a car, and he was supposed to call Ren and report about it.

He cursed. The cold had never bothered him this badly before, but he had never been in such a cold like this, and for such a long time. If he did this right, he would be released without consequence. That was the only thing keeping him going right now.

Bright lights flashed his eyes. He took a few steps back, making sure to keep his eyes on the road. A moped slowed down to a crawl, braking perfectly next to him. It was two of the targets.

One was the main target, Felix Haki Toako. A lot must have happened over the course of the day. His hair was freshly pink, a sharp contrast to his dead orange hair from yesterday. And his lip! He had a lip piercing, bound to be freezing from the cold. His eyes were grey like the clouds above, and his hair was tousled over his ears. He… he didn’t look like what Ren had told Dima he would look like. He looked young. Alive. Fun.

The other target was Han Reese, the one Ren didn’t understand. At all. Their helmet was strapped tight to their head, cherry red hair grazing their neck in terms of length. As Felix stopped the moped, they removed their arms from his waist and put their glasses on from their pocket to see why they had stopped.

“Have you seen a woman,” Felix said taking his hands off the handle bars to mime as he spoke, “Kinda… flying about? Like, wings on her sneakers? Kinda Hermes/Namor vibes?”

“Super thick hair?” Reese offered, “Pale blonde to the point it’s white?”

Their descriptions of Ren made sense. They didn’t say her cold eyes, or her long limbs that reminded Dima of a deer of some sorts. They wouldn’t talk about her smile during battle, how her lips dripping with blood haunted Dima’s mind. Why would they? Why would they know what he did?

“Sorry,” Dima said, accent terrible. He spoke Icelandic unwillingly. “I haven’t seen her.”

He was supposed to point them down the direction of the warehouse. He was supposed to urge them to hurry. He was supposed to be a lot of things.

In his moment of defiance, he added, “Did you check the college and… that area?”

The response made him smile. Felix began blinking like his life was going to end. Reese, oblivious to this, said, “Felix and Chris scoped the club ou-”

“We don’t have to talk about it,” Felix said. His chest visibly took a few breaths before his eyes locked with Dima’s. “Thank you for your help. Sorry for wasting your time….”

He held the last word out, so Dima said, “Dima. Dimitri Jones.”

Something clicked in Reese’s mind. It was comical, the way they raised their head, the way their shoulders rose as their lungs filled up with more air than they needed. Did they actually know who he was? That he used to be a director before the Gilas brother kept him in this frozen place? That he left one friend to see another, and now he was paying for it? Not that he blamed Hymir. Not that he blamed Felix’s brother.

Did Hymir know?

“Thanks. We’ll be on our way.” Felix sped the moped off, not bothering to wait for Reese to put their glasses back in their pocket. They were out of sight within a moment.

Dima fished his phone out of his coat pocket. He wasn’t slave to memory just yet. Ren picked up on the third ring. “You were wrong,” Dima said, a smile finding a way onto his face.

“What, Mitya?” “You were wrong. They came on a moped.” Ren scoffed. “Felix… Felix is different. He doesn’t carry himself like a broken man. Either your ego is too big or your information is outdated.”

She swore at him. She cursed at him. She promised to bury him under the snow and let his body be discovered with the blooming flowers.

For once, he wasn’t Mitya when she was talking. He felt like himself again, for the first time since stepping foot in Iceland. He was Dima, and feeling like Dima felt good.

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