To understand what follows, a few preparatory remarks.
Maybe you’ve heard, Leonardo DiCaprio and Vladimir Putin joined hands in the fight for the Tiger. But before Leo could actually show up, his flight was delayed but he came anyway – which led Putin to call Leo “a real man.” Basically, it was already the stuff legends are made of.
I started talking with a few friends about it and suddenly – much like Brangelina – Leo Putin was born.
A few days later, the following exchange happened on twitter:
@kalafudra: Now it’s started. I’m actually looking up German translations for English words so I can write an article in German. O_o
@kathrintha: would you like to use this fully animated,interactive dictionary here?I’m on MSN,or here,or on the phone :)
@kalafudra: Since my focus is down the drain, I’m writing about five words an hour. Unless I pick up speed, I don’t think there’s much to do
@kathrintha: well…I should tell you that I have a bottle of wine next to me…so ask soon or ask tomorrow ^.~ #IdrinkthereforeIshallsleep
@kalafudra: Well, there’s always Leo…
@kathrintha: Of course…Leo Putin to the rescue!!!
@kalafudra: Exactly. First the tigers, then the kalafudras.
@kathrintha: That’s the natural order of things,I’m afraid.Shack up with Siegfried and Roy and you might jump the queue ^^
@kalafudra: I wonder what I would do chez S&R. Probably getting rid of tiger shit. Or something like that.
@kathrintha: sewing sequins on random items of clothing
@kalafudra: Oh, exactly my strong suit! I might even get to glitter stuff.
@kathrintha: definitely…all day long! glittery socks, undershirts, … you’d never run out of things to decorate.
@kalafudra: What a dream! Btw “to chant” in German?
@kathrintha: Buddhist? “chanten”, Church-style: “singen” (geht nicht besser…das Wort fehlt bei uns.)
@kathrintha: or football-fan-style? (“grölen”)
@kalafudra: somehow I only got 1 tweet, which probably should have been 2 (unless you just gave me one “or” option). I went with skandieren.
@kalafudra: Oh, suddenly tweet 2 is here. Anyway, meant more in “chanting someones name in an adoring, but slightly creepy way”
@kathrintha: yeah, then “skandieren” is probably the closest you’re going to get in German. wtf are you writing about?
@kalafudra: I’m writing my Firefly article for tomorrow. At the pace I’m going (and the vodka shots I’m doing), it’s gonna take me hours yet
@kathrintha: aaaah…good combination,though ^^
@kalafudra: Definitely. Though I’m still searching for the right soundtrack for that work. ;)
@kathrintha: “Knights of Cydonia”
@kalafudra: Oh, very nice. Very, very nice indeed. *ridesoffintothesunset*
@teashoe: May I just interject that I am highly entertained by your conversation? That is all.
@kalafudra: In that case, my work is done. ;)
@kathrintha: we aim to please ^^
@kalafudra: Though I now feel kinda obligated to be witty. And since I had my 7th Klopfer [a vodka based shot drink, ed.], this is not very likely.
@teashoe: Don’t feel pressured. It’s hard to top Leo Putin and sequins on underwear. ;)
@kalafudra: Since that’s all deadra’s wit, this really takes the pressure from me. ;)
@kathrintha: That sounds like it came from JK Rowling: “Leo Putin And The Underwear of Sequins”
@kalafudra: See? Case in point. *rofl*
@teashoe: lol If we keep going with this Leo Putin stuff, I might start shipping them… :P
@kalafudra: Especially since deadra already supplied you with the perfect title for the first fanfic.
@kathrintha: Okay,that would be so very, very wrong. Thanks for putting those pictures in my head when I’ve had a drink. You’re evil.
@kalafudra: I’ve already written half the fic in my head. If I finish my article sometime soon, I might actually start to write it
@teashoe: Oh god, now you did it. This has to be happening!! The world is in dire need of such a fic!
@kathrintha: I’m giggling about something involving Vladimir Putin IN BED. I feel dirty now.
@kalafudra: Well, that’s what friends are for: give you bad ideas and make you feel dirty.
@kathrintha: well,this was fun.Now I get to go to sleep with dirty images of Leo and Putin in my head. Good night,you!
@kalafudra: Sleep tight. And have nice dreams. *inserteyebrowwigglehere*
@teashoe: Well, have sweet dreams involving neither of them! (Okay, maybe Leo alone wouldn’t be too bad…)
I was fully prepared to make good on my promise when I got around to it. But along came this:
And I just knew I couldn’t wait till I had the time – I would make the time to write this fic and if everything else had to come to a complete standstill, it would.
So, here we are. If you brave the jump, you can read all about Leo Putin and the Underwear of Sequins. Including pictures.
And just to get the legal stuff out of the way: I’m not saying that anything of what I write below actually happened. Though Leonardo DiCaprio and Vladimir Putin are real persons, I don’t know squat about them or there personal life, but I’m reasonably sure that there is nothing to ‘ship there. Though a few incidents I refer to actually kinda happened, I’m taking huge poetic license. This is a work of fiction with a dash of satire and should be seen that way.
Also, the story is not really sexy [even I didn't want to picture Putin getting it on (you're welcome)], but it’s gay love. So if you have a problem with that, go somewhere else.
Leo Putin and the Underwear of Sequins
The sounds of the piano seemed to fly through the hall, leaving nobody untouched. Leo sat in a dark corner, in the shadows, hidden from the world and listened to Vladimir playing, at least as entranced as the rest of the audience who soon started clapping along.
When the last tones of the song had disappeared, Leo’s thoughs went to tat fateful meeting such a short time ago. He’d just had the trip from hell and felt like shit. Twice his flight was delayed and he’d thought he’d never make it to the Tiger Summit.
But in the end he arrived after all and hurried to the charity event, dreading the usual people, the usual small talk and the usual bigotry. But since it was for a good cause – and apparently nobody would take his money if there wasn’t a show for the press as well – he was prepared to sit through it.
Then somebody – he didn’t even remember who – introduced him to Vladimir. The second their eyes met, a jolt of electricity went through Leo. There was just something about Putin that deeply fascinated him.
They started talking, going from tigers to turtles to the oil spill. Their sadness and feelings of personal responsibility soon paved the way for more intimate subjects and they quickly discovered that both of them suffered from the demands of a tough career that left little time for themselves.
Before they hardly knew it, the night was almost at an end and the people around them started leaving.
But Leo as much as Vladimir knew that they weren’t done yet. So half an hour later, they found themselves in Leo’s hotel room where their exchange rapidly became even more intimate.
Finally Vladimir looked at him. “I know we don’t know each other that well yet,” he said in that sexy Russian accent and took Leo’s hand, “but I feel this amazing connection between us. And…”
He broke off. Before Leo could say anything, Vladimir leaned in and kissed him.
Leo was surprised and a little hesitant at first. He thought about pulling away but his mouth was already acting on his first impulse, his tongue exploring Vladimir’s mouth.
“I’ve never done anything like this. And I’ve never felt anything like it either. It’s just… I don’t know if I’m ready for this. I don’t know if I’m the right man to…”
Leo ended the sentence with a helpless gesture.
Vladimir smiled at him.
“We don’t even know what this is yet. Let’s not be scared of what this might become – let’s see where it taked us first.” He kissed Leo again, softly. “And trust me – you’re the right man for anything you want to do.”
Leo was grateful for the understanding Vladimir gave him. And he did want to see where this was going. After a bit more culddling on the couch, he was therefore ready to take this to the next level. And so it was him who finally pulled Vladimir to the bed.
Leo smiled at the memory of their first night together. Vladimir had been everything as a lover he’d been as a statesman: Firm, controlling and commanding, but also surprisingly gentle and generous. He couldn’t have wished for a better man right then and there.
The weeks since then had been a whirlwind of telephone calls and secret meetings. Neither of them had wanted the world to know about them yet, not before they knew what was going on themselves.
And now Leo was back at a charity event in Russia, ready to step out of the shadows and tell the world, listening to the man he was pretty sure was the love of his life singing a song about broken vows and thrils – not love.
Leo could feel tears rising in his eyes. For a second he thought he’d caught Vladimir’s eyes before he sat back down with his family. But right then, Leo couldn’t wait for actual contact. He fled.
Vladimir was confused. He was sure he’d seen Leo at the back of the room, but before he could make his way over there (while shaking about a billion hands), he was gone.
Vladimir was unused to not being waited on of for. But even more than that, he was stupefied by his own reaction: He wasn’t furious, not even a little bit angry. He was just hurt.
With a heavy heart he sat back down with his family. The air around the table was more than tense. Little wonder – had he told his wife the day before that he couldn’t keep up appearances any more and the he would leave them – for Leo.
It wasn’t the first time that Vladimir had had somebody on the side. But it was the first time that he wanted to really make things right with that somebody, wanted it enough to leave the safety of his marriage and risk the jump. And that was exactly what Leo was for him – a jump into the unknown.
While a minor Russian C-list celebrity murdered Kalinka, Vladimir thought about Leo’s uncertainty when they first met and how he’d had to hide his own anxiousness to reassure Leo in his manliness. He even told a reporter the next day that Leo was a real man, hoping that Leo would understand the hidden message for him.
And Leo had. When the news of the interview had reached him – probably through a friend who thought it was the best joke ever – he’d called Vladimir straight away and they’d started regular phone conversations, soon followed by meetings in person whenever their busy scheduled allowed them to be in the same country at the same time.
That had been going on for six months now and Vladimir knew that this was more than just one of his regular flings – and that he had to do more about it. That’s why he told his wife that there was somebody else in his life. She had reacted surprisingly well, but had asked him that they still attend the next few events they were invited to together. Vladimir was happy to oblige, since it gave him a little more time to plan how he would tell Leo about his decision.
Because he honestly wasn’t sure how the younger man would react. Vladimir was sure that they loved each other, but he wasn’t sure if Leo was ready for the kind of commitment – and publicity – Vladimir was going for. Leaving his wife was only the first step. He’d already made an offer for a beautiful house in the taiga where there was room for a small habitat for sick tigers. He and Leo could take care of them before releasing them back into the wild, like Siegfried and Roy, only without the drama or the magic. And there was already a law in the works that would allow gay marriage in Russia. With Vladimir’s background that was the easiest feat.
The more he thought about his future with Leo, the more anxious he was to go to him and tell him all about it. At the earliest possibility, he excused himself and slipped away from the party, making his way to the hotel they had spent their first night in.
Leo was in his hotel room. Romantic that he was, he had of course booked the same hotel as the last time he was in Russia. Now he wasn’t too sure about the sanity of that. He was looking out the window with a glass of vodka in hand, wondering what he should do. Should he confront Vladimir? Have the talk? Or should he just take the song as the hint it was and let Vladimir be?
Before he could reach a decision, there was a knock at the door. He opened and found Vladimir outside. For a moment Leo was frozen, but then he pulled Vladimir into the hotel room and kissed him desperately. He was sure it would be the last kiss they’d share.
Vladimir finally broke the kiss and said, “We need to talk.” He led Leo to the couch and sat him down.
Leo finally found his voice. “Look, before you say anything, let me say this. The past few months have been amazing. And you, you were astonishing. You didn’t only make me want to be a better person, you actually made me one. I love you. I want to actually be with you. But I understand if you don’t want to do that, you have a family and I… I just wanted you to know.”
Vladimir grabbed his hand, beaming at him.
“Leo, you don’t know how happy you have made me!”
Then he told Leo everything about the house and the law and the tigers. When he came to the part where they would be like Siegfried and Roy, only without the drama, was the only time Leo felt that there should be an amendment to Vladmir’s otherwise perfect proposal.
“But you know that Siegfried and Roy do right? The glitter, the glamour and – most of all – the sequins. We definitely have to have those.”
And Vladimir was only too happy to concede that point, though he didn’t really get it. But when they moved into their newly renovated tiger paradise, Leo showed Vladimir exactly how sexy sequins can be on underwear – and from then on, there was always a little dash of glitter somewhere in Casa Putin.