Jack of Spades

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An image depicting the main characters of the story Jack of Spades, Nikolai Matveev (upper left) and Teddy Graham (lower right)

Jack of Spades is a story written by beili. It ran in Issue 65 at http://s2b2.livejournal.com/349388.html, and is mirrored at http://www.shousetsubangbang.com/mirror/jack-of-spades/.


A spy in a bad situation gets unexpected and timely help from his ex-lover.

From [1]: "Unapologetic gay fluff hiding under the thin veneer of a spy story"


The main character of the story, Nikolai Matveev, appears in the standalone image It's called being discreet for Artist Special 7

The second main character of the story, Teddy Graham, appears in the standalone image For his steady arms for Issue 71

Other works[edit]

Jack of Spades is an extended series of written works, posted mainly on Archive Of Our Own: [2], and a collection of related standalone images, posted on tumblr: [3]

Author's notes[edit]

The plot started out a long time ago as a fever dream during a chest cold from hell (I think there is still a scribble of main characters somewhere on y!gallery from back then). In the dream, the main character was the one doing investigative journalism, and ex was a full-time biathlonist.

Fast forward a few years, I was telling MYŌGADANI Mōra about several of my old origfic ideas, and this one came up again. Val, the angel that she is, told me to hold on to it :). The plot got reworked a bit to eliminate professional sports and include spies, and froze again at that.

Fast forward again, to December, when I thought, "what if the main character is Russian and the ex is English, and how does it all work to include spying and a bronchitis from hell?" And then it really started coming together. There were suddenly more characters. There were snippets, scribbles, two tracklists, and me being glued to the screen of my phone at all times when I wasn't working or sleeping (and sometimes instead of sleeping). It was, all in all, a fantastic ride, and I'm glad this story now exists outside my head. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Many thanks to V.B.B., my Foreign Journalism professor, for being generous with tales about his experiences in war zones, and generally about working as a correspondent in places of conflict. I have used the tiniest bit of your knowledge to Make Gay Happen, and I'm not sorry.

And, of course, my eternal gratitude is to MYŌGADANI Mōra, who is a wonderful friend and co-conspirator, who had been interested from the start, held my hand and listened to me moan about Sad Russian Cookie, who discussed ideas and offered corrections, read my WIPs and then the entirety of this monster pre-edits (!), and who is always the greatest inspiration to keep doing the thing. Thank you so much, darling! <3 You are the bestest.

"So I'm the stay-at-home wife desperate for adventures, then?" Teddy said

The movie they are referring to here is True Lies; the line Nick quotes, about only killing bad people, belongs to Arnold Schwarzenegger's spy character, and Teddy refers to the spy's wife played by Jaimie Lee Curtis. The whole thing is, in fact, somewhat hilariously awful, except for the absolutely awesome supporting cast.

The horrible rasping sound Nick's throat makes is a personal experience; it's caused by the vocal chords aligning a certain way to make a sound that is a bastard child of metal against glass and a moan. It might take one an embarrassingly long time to recognize where the awful racket is coming from, if one is completely out of it with fever.

Teddy ended up being unironically named after a snack. (In my defence, this particular food had never taken off in Russia, or possibly had never been imported). Um, it helps that he is a total cuddlebear? :)

(Originally posted on the author's dreamwidth blog: [4])