A Bittersweet Christmas
Originally Posted 2003
The Christmas Holidays are here and Napoleon decides to show his partner a Christmas he'll never forget.
Four Days Before Christmas
It was four days before Christmas and Napoleon Solo, dressed in his best tux, was enjoying a wonderful evening at a fashionable discothèque. He raised his glass, sighing mentally as he took in the sight of the stunning blonde on his right and the equally taciturn blond on his left. He looked at his date, a tall blonde with china-blue eyes, whose sleek black dress left little to the imagination. It had taken a lot for him to get this particular young lady to agree to go out with him and the evening’s ending promised to be well worth it.
His partner, dressed in his usual black, just sat with his arms folded, his blue eyes glaring at Napoleon. Illya’s date for this evening was a small brunette whose hair was cut even shorter than his own.
In spite of what Illya thought, it was not Napoleon’s fault that Bridgette had insisted that he provide a date for her friend; nor was it his fault that Illya had made a minor mistake on their last mission that Napoleon had no qualms about using to blackmail him into going along on this date. They had finished a good meal, which he had paid for, when the conversation turned to childhood memories from Christmases past. Bridgette and her friend had done most of the talking and Napoleon had mentioned that some of the Christmases he’d enjoyed most were those spent at his Grandparents. Illya had not joined in the conversation at all, causing Napoleon, who had never thought about it before, to wonder what kind of Christmases his partner had memories of.
After the meal, Bridgette had been in the mood for some dancing, which she did with abandon. The music was loud, and for some unknown reason Napoleon’s spirits were at an all time low. Illya's date rose from the table, indicating that she, too, wanted to dance. Illya reluctantly got up and stared daggers at Napoleon, who merely lifted his glass to salute him. This was one highpoint that could prove very amusing, Napoleon thought.
He watched as Illya and his date approached the dance floor. He knew his partner could dance, but he wasn’t prepared for just how well. He watched with astonishment as Illya and his date twirled around the floor as if they had choreographed the moves. Soon other couples on the floor were moving back to watch in admiration.
“They’re really good,” Bridgette remarked.
All of a sudden, Napoleon felt a strange tightness in his chest. It wasn’t as if he were jealous of his partner’s dancing abilities, after all he was an accomplished dancer as well; he just preferred music where you could hold your partner close. He always felt a little silly dancing to disco music. But, Illya was poetry in motion. He frowned realizing that it wasn’t that his partner was good at dancing but the fact that he was good at something with someone else that bothered him. He closed his eyes, his mouth dry, and wondered when he had started to feel so possessive about Illya.
“Napoleon, are you all right?” Bridgette asked, her hand on his arm as she tried to get his attention. Looking into her worried eyes, he opened his mouth to tell her he was fine and found out that he couldn’t. Here he was with a beautiful woman willing to grant his every fantasy or so she had led him to believe and he felt that he would rather be with the blond on the dance floor. Confusion set in and then panic, he stood up and reached for his wallet with the intention of paying whatever bill they might have. The music had stopped and Illya and his date were heading back to the table. Napoleon panicked, he couldn’t take it anymore so he dropped his wallet on the table and walked away. He didn’t see the look of indignation on Bridgette's face nor the look of worry in his partner’s eyes.
He wasn’t sure how he managed to make it back to his apartment. His mind had literally shut down and he was working on automatic. He unlocked the door, not bothering with the lights, made his way to the bar were he got a bottle of Haig and poured himself a glass. He took a sip, and then taking the bottle walked to a far corner of the room and slowly slid down to the floor. He closed his eyes wishing he knew what the hell had come over him. He knew he cared for his partner and trusted him with his life, but…
He poured himself another drink and willed himself to think of something else, anything else. Leaning his head against the wall, he thought of Christmas at his grandparents, the Christmas tree loaded with presents, sledding down the hill behind the house, the mouthwatering food. He wasn’t sure how long he sat there drinking when he heard the doorbell ring. He didn’t have the energy to answer it and he prayed that whoever it was would just go away.
Illya stood outside the door waiting for someone to answer. He was worried about Napoleon; his actions were definitely out of character. He and Brenda had returned to the table to see Napoleon walking away. Bridgette had called him to come back but he hadn’t answered, more importantly he had left his wallet behind. It had taken quite some time to calm the girls down and send them home in a cab, using Napoleon’s money, of course, before he could go in search of Napoleon. The car was still where they had left it, so he decided to try Napoleon’s apartment on the off chance that that’s were he had gone. He had debated about contacting U.N.C.L.E. to put a trace on Napoleon, but decided against it.
After a few minutes of knocking and nobody answering, Illya decided to let himself into the apartment. Opening the door, he noticed that the room was in darkness, so he flipped the switch, lighting the room. He spotted Napoleon, his eyes closed, slouched on the floor at the far side of the room, his tuxedo all wrinkled and his tie crooked. He was holding a glass atop one knee and a bottle in his other hand. Slowly so as not to startle his friend he made his way to him, dropping the wallet on the coffee table on the way.
“You forgot your wallet,” he said softly as he squatted down in front of Napoleon. “Are you all right?”
Napoleon opened his eyes and poured himself another drink, unable to look into the blue eyes that belonged to his partner.
Taking the glass from him, Illya said, “Oh no, my friend, you’ve already had enough. Now tell me what is bothering you.”
Napoleon bit his lip; he couldn’t bring himself to do that, so he said the first thing that came into his head. “I wanna go home.”
That amused Illya. “I don’t know how to tell you this, Napoleon, but you are home. Upsy Daisy.” With a grunt, Illya grabbed him under the arms and pulled him up. Placing one arm around his shoulder, he guided Napoleon into his bedroom and watched as he collapsed face down upon the bed. Illya stood back wondering what is was that had Napoleon in such a state. Reaching down he removed Napoleon’s shoes and pulled the covers up. Shaking his head and turning off the light, he left the apartment after first making sure the alarm was set.
Tingaling tingaling tingaling
Three Days Before Christmas
The next morning Illya arrived at U.N.C.L.E. headquarters at his usual time. As he took his badge from the pretty receptionist, he wondered out loud about when Napoleon might arrive.
“Oh, Mr. Solo arrived over an hour ago,” the receptionist informed him, to which he raised an eyebrow. “He’s in a meeting with Mr. Waverly.”
Fingering his badge absentmindedly, Illya nodded and headed toward his office. When he had left his partner the night before, Napoleon had been out like a light. To get to work early was very uncharacteristic of his friend and he wondered what brought it on. He would find out why later, but for now he had a stack of paperwork waiting for him.
He had just started on the paperwork, when Napoleon burst into the office rubbing his hands together gleefully.
“I just got through talking to the old man and we have three days off. If you leave now and pack we can be out of here in two hours.”
Illya just looked at his partner as if he was crazy. “Napoleon, I have got too much paperwork…”
Napoleon just ignored that. “I’ll be by your place shortly to pick you up,” he asserted before leaving the room.
“Napoleon, where...?” Illya called after him as his phone rang but Napoleon was already gone. He picked up the phone. “Kuryakin, here,” he said absently.
“Mr. Kuryakin, have you seen Mr. Solo,” Waverly inquired.
“He just left, Sir.” Illya sat back down to give Mr. Waverly his whole attention.
“I’ve just had a most disturbing conversation with Mr. Solo.” Mr. Waverly sounded indignant. “He demanded three days off for you and himself. Do you know what this is all about?”
Illya looked at the phone in his hand in amazement. “No, sir.”
“Something is obviously wrong. I want you to stick to your partner until you find out,” Mr. Waverly ordered.
“Yes, sir.” Illya didn’t argue as he put the phone down, three days off!! He quickly set his desk straight and left to pack.
Tingaling tingaling tingaling
It was a long drive and Napoleon whistled a Christmas tune while Illya sat next to him napping. He had gotten up that morning with a vague recollection of the events of the night before. Napoleon remembered thinking about the Christmases he had spent with his grandparents and wondering what Illya’s Christmases had been like. Then he’d decided the only thing to do was to show Illya what a good old fashion Christmas was like. Yes, that was it, he would share a Christmas like he’d had with his grandparents with his partner. It had taken a lot of talking, but he’d gotten Mr. Waverly to say yes. Then all he had to do was make a phone call.
“Do you want me to drive for awhile?” Illya asked still not having any idea as to where they were going.
Napoleon stopped whistling and with a brilliant smile replied, “No, it’s not much further.”
Illya checked his watch, it was just getting dark and they had been on the road since ten o’clock that morning. Traffic had been bad and it was starting to snow, but Napoleon had not seemed to mind, that being unusual in itself. He also had refused to tell Illya where they were going. A few minutes later, the car turned down a small winding road and came to a stop.
The two men got out of the car and Illya stretched as he took in an old two-story house with a wraparound front porch, and the lights blazing from every window. An elderly black woman came out of the front door and his partner rushed up to greet her while Illya went to get the suitcases out the trunk.
Waving Illya over, Napoleon said with pride, “Mama Joe, this is my partner Illya Kuryakin. Illya this is Mama Joe, the best cook in the state.”
Mama Joe shook her head at Napoleon. “Oh, Nap-o-leon, you hasn’t changed a bit, just gottin taller,” she said as she ushered them inside.
Illya set his suitcase down and unbuttoned his coat while he looked around. The hallway was long, running through the entire house, with a staircase to one side going to the next floor. The walls were covered with an old fashion wallpaper pattern but it only added to the charm. There were four doors leading off the hall, two on each side. He glanced at his partner to see the American taking everything in with barely concealed excitement.
Mama Joe went to a closet in the hall, took out a coat which she buttoned up, and continued her conversation. “I’s got everythin’ ready, just like you ask. Supper’s on the stove and I’ll be back to make sure Christmas dinner gets done right.”
“Thanks, Mama Joe, I really appreciate this,” Napoleon said with sincerity as he escorted her out to her car. When he returned he found his partner was still standing in the hallway. “Why don’t you go upstairs and pick out a room while I get food on the table?”
Illya picked up his suitcase and started for the stairs. Going up two of the steps, he stopped and turned. “Napoleon, why am I here?”
Napoleon didn’t answer. He just smiled and paused at a door leading to the living room, glanced inside with approval before going on to the kitchen.
There were three bedrooms upstairs. One master bedroom with its own bath, one bedroom with a double bed and rose patterned wallpaper that shared a bathroom with a smaller room that contained twin beds. There was striped wallpaper in that room as well as a pine dresser and armoire. A braided rug lay on the floor making the room inviting, so Illya decided that he would sleep there. He put his suitcase on the bed to unpack and began to pull out some things to put in the dresser. On the dresser was a picture of a young boy whose closed-mouth smile was slightly crooked, and he had just picked it up to look closer when he heard footsteps rushing down the hall.
His curiosity got the better of him. He put the photo down and followed the sounds of the footsteps. They had gone down the hall and up a small stairway at the back of the house. Quietly going up the stairway and reaching the top, he saw bed frames, rockers, lots of boxes, picture frames, and his partner. Napoleon was hanging out an open window at the far side of the attic.
Hearing steps coming toward him, Napoleon turned around, his eyes bright with excitement. “Isn’t this great?” he asked waving his arm toward the window.
Illya looked out, there seemed to be a million stars, and a full moon shown down on hillside at the back of the house.
Napoleon was leaning out the window again. “I used to come up here to get away from everything,” he reminisced. “See that tree? That’s the tree I fell out of when I was ten and broke my arm.” Then realizing that Illya couldn’t possibly care, he laughed. “Come on, supper’s on the table.”
As he followed Napoleon down the stairs Illya inquired, “I take it this is your grandparents’ home.”
Napoleon glanced back, his eyes alight with amusement. “Oh, didn’t I tell you?” Seeing Illya’s look of indignation, he laughed. “When they died, they left the place to me. I’ve tried to keep it up, but…,” he left the rest unsaid and shrugged.
“It’s very nice, what’s for supper?” Illya asked.
“Stew,” he said as he picked up a lid and leaned over to sniff the wonderful aroma. He reached for the ladle and poured generous helpings into two bowls. “Do you want to eat in here or in the dining room?”
“Here is fine.”
Nodding he took the bowls to the table, and then went back for silverware and the basket of bread that Mama Joe had left. “Is tea okay with you?” he asked, waiting for Illya's nod before he poured two glasses that he also brought back to the table. “Dig in,” he instructed as he picked up his spoon. Then he noticed with amusement that Illya had already started.
“This is very good,” Illya said as he helped himself to some fresh baked bread.
“I told you Mama Joe was the best cook,” Napoleon stated. “My parents traveled a lot when I was growing up, and I spent a lot of time here. Mama Joe practically raised me.”
Illya’s eyebrows went up at this information; Napoleon rarely talked about his childhood.
After they had finished the meal, Napoleon said, “I’ll clean up here, why don’t you go into the living room and fix us some drinks.”
Illya nodded. “I don’t suppose…”
“Try the freezer?” Napoleon suggested trying to keep a smile from breaking out. Illya could be so predictable sometimes.
Illya walked over to the refrigerator and opened the freezer, finding a bottle of vodka. With unconcealed delight, he pulled it out and headed for the living room to fix the drinks. The living room contained comfortable furniture; a lit fireplace was the main attraction along with a Christmas tree, off to one side, waiting to be decorated. He went over to the buffet and poured himself a drink, then finding a bottle of scotch, poured one for Napoleon. Settling into one of the chairs placed in front of the fireplace he stared at the flames.
When Napoleon walked into the room, wiping his hands on a dishtowel, he found his drink waiting for him on the buffet and joined Illya in the other chair by the fireplace. He looked in satisfaction at the tree that stood in front of the window and turned to Illya, planning to ask if he wished to help decorate it just as Illya let out a yawn. Napoleon suggested as he finished off his drink. “Let’s get to bed. It has been a long day.”
Illya merely nodded as he wearily got up and followed his partner up the stairs to the bedrooms. “Goodnight,” he yawned as he watched Napoleon go into the room with the double bed.
“Sleep tight,” Napoleon responded.
Sometime in the early morning hours, Napoleon awoke to answer the call of nature and relieve his bladder. Half asleep he left the bathroom and got back into bed.
Tingaling tingaling tingaling
The Day Before Christmas
Illya woke up in a strange bed and turned over to find Napoleon in the other bed. “Napoleon?”
Napoleon woke up and blinked as he looked around. “Sorry, I had to go to the bathroom last night and I guess my feet forgot where they were supposed to go. This used to be my room when I stayed here,” he apologized. “Tell you what. You clean up and I’ll fix breakfast.”
Illya took a shower and put on his usual black outfit, then went down the stairs and into the kitchen. He found it amusing to catch sight of his partner wearing an apron, his expression one of intense concentration, his tongue sticking out, while mixing some batter in a bowl.
“I hope you know what you’re doing?”
Napoleon looked up only slightly embarrassed and set down the bowl. He picked up a piece of paper that he had been concentrating on. “I’ve got step by step instructions,” he declared.
Much to Illya’s surprise breakfast turned out to be very good. After helping to clean up the kitchen, Napoleon was not a very neat cook; they went to the living room where Napoleon started another fire in the fireplace.
Going over to the tree, he started rummaging through the boxes near it.
“Wanna help?” he asked Illya.
Illya lounged in one of the chairs, his feet on an ottoman, coffee cup in hand replied, “No, I think I’ll just watch.”
Napoleon let out a mental sigh, then reached down and pulled out a string of lights. He started to untangle them and then decided that they needed some music for atmosphere. He moved toward the stereo, but became entangled in the cord. The more he tried to get loose the more wrapped up he got.
“Illya, help me out here!”
Illya got up with a chuckle. “Maybe we should just plug you in.”
The look of consternation on Napoleon’s face was priceless and he methodically worked to unwind him. Napoleon insisted that he help decorate the tree, so he gave in.
It took longer than it should, Napoleon would get nostalgic over some of the ornaments and he started to tell the stories behind them. Illya didn’t mind, it was nice to hear about the good times Napoleon had growing up. They took a break for lunch and then continued decorating the tree.
Napoleon realizing he had done most of the talking asked his Russian partner, “So what was Christmas like when you were growing up?”
Illya paused as he put tinsel on the tree, remembering back. “First off, we don’t celebrate Christmas on December 25th, we celebrate on January 7. We do have Christmas trees, though.”
“With presents, though it’s not about how much you spend.”
“Oh, you mean it’s the thought that counts?”
“Something like that.” Illya had to agree. “We generally celebrate for six days, with a church service on Christmas Eve and a huge meal on Christmas Day.”
“You went to church?” Napoleon asked surprised.
“It was tradition,” Illya explained. “The food was wonderful, there would be goose or maybe a suckling pig and Babushka would pass out the presents.”
“How do you say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Russian?” Napoleon asked as he got the star to put on top of the tree.
“c Rodzhestvom Krisowom, it means ‘The Birth of Christ’. Christmas is a time for family and friends.”
“Not that much different from ours,” Napoleon said as he put the star on top and stood back to judge the effect. “So what is the memory of your last Christmas with your family?” he asked absently.
Illya caught his breath, the memory was painful, he closed his eyes and softly he said, “The Germans came.”
Napoleon looked at his friend in shock, how could he have been so thoughtless, he reached over to place his hand on his friend's arm and said with anguish, “Illya, I’m sorry.”
Illya placed his hand over Napoleon's. “It is okay, Napoleon, it’s not your fault. It was a long time ago.”
Wishing he could take away his friends pain, Napoleon looked out the window. The snow had stop, and the hill behind the house would be covered in white, he got an idea and beganpulling his partner. “Come on, I’ve got just the thing.”
Following Napoleon to the back of the house, Illya watched as he rummaged through closets and drawers, pulling out jackets, caps, gloves, and boots. “These should fit, put them on.”
Taking the clothing thrust upon him Illya wondered if Napoleon had lost his mind, and after dressing in them, he followed him into the yard anyway. Napoleon went over to a shed and opened the door to a lot of junk, somewhere in that junk he managed to pull out two sleds.
Triumphantly, he motioned Illya to take one.
“Last one down the hill is a rotten egg.”
Illya shook his head, Napoleon had lost his mind, but it had been awhile since he’d been able to take pleasure in sledding, so he shrugged and followed along enjoying the experience again. They spent most of the rest of the afternoon going down the hill and throwing snowballs at each other. It felt good not to have to worry about anything.
Mama Joe showed up to make sure everything was ready for dinner the next day and to fix them a warm supper. She came out the door and shook her head. ‘Children’ she thought. “You better get in here and have something to eat before you freeze,” she called.
Napoleon looked over to see the small black woman, arms wrapped around herself to keep the chill away. “Just on more time?” he pleaded and watched as she turned to go back into the house shaking her head.
“What do you say, partner, one more time? I’ll race you,” Napoleon asked.
Illya nodded and sneakily started down before Napoleon had time to set his sled down on the ground. He heard Napoleon call, “Hey” with indignation and laughed. He was halfway down the hill when the sled hit a bump and he went hurtling into a tree. He lay there not moving as Napoleon, pale with fear, came rushing over.
Gently turning his partner over Napoleon was relieved to find him breathing. There was a big cut over his eye that was bleeding profusely. Scooping him up, he rushed back to the house .
Mama Joe was waiting at the door. “Take him upstairs,” she ordered as she followed him up and went into the bathroom to gather up some medical supplies.
Napoleon laid him on the bed and backed up so Mama Joe could start work on him.
“Lord child, the things you two get up to.” She placed a cloth on top of Illya’s head to help stop the flow of blood and then started to take off the wet clothes that covered him. She looked up to see Napoleon’s pale face. “Youse better go get out of them wet clothes,” she ordered, and when Napoleon appeared reluctant to leave. “I’s been taking care of things like this since before you was born.”
Tingaling tingaling tingaling
Napoleon was downstairs pacing when Mama Joe finally came down wiping her hands on a towel. “He’s gonna be alright, don’t you worry none. He just needs to sleep. I got you some soup and sandwiches in the kitchen and everything is ready for tomorrow. If he wakes up you give him some of that soup, you hear, and get some sleep, you know Santa won’t come ifin you stay awake.” She chuckled as she gathered up her coat and left.
Napoleon crept quietly up to the room to find his partner asleep and tucked in with a bandage covering one eye. He looked just like a little boy and it warmed Napoleon's heart to know he would be okay. Going back downstairs, he put on some music and fixed himself a drink, he wasn’t really hungry.
Later on he decided he would fix some soup to take upstairs when he went to check on Illya. As he started up the stairs, he met Illya on his way down, tying the tie on his robe.
“You’re supposed to be in bed.”
“I’m tired of lying down,” Illya said grumpily as he passed Napoleon and headed for the living room. “Is that supper?”
Napoleon just stood there for a minute and then followed his partner into the room, taking it as a good sign that Illya was grumpy. He set the tray on the coffee table and said, “Just what the doctor ordered, chicken soup.”
He watched fondly as his friend tackled the soup as if he hadn’t eaten in days.
“This is very good. Aren’t you going to eat?” Illya asked when he managed to take a break.
Napoleon shook his head. “I’m not hungry yet. Maybe you should get back to bed, that was quite a lump you took there.”
Illya waved the idea away. “I’ve gotten worse from THRUSH.” He finished eating and leaned back trying to get comfortable.
Napoleon got up from where he was sitting, snatching up pillow and moved to sit next to his friend. He was surprised when Illya took the pillow to lean it up against him and made himself at home. He couldn’t help but put his arms around his little blond partner. Even though Illya had made light of it, Napoleon knew he could have lost him to a freak accident and that thought worried him. When he felt his partner relax and fall back to sleep, instead of going to bed, he stayed there through out the night holding on to him.
Illya woke up the next morning to find himself asleep on the sofa with a blanket over him. He had a headache and couldn’t remember a whole lot from last night except for a feeling of being safe and protected. He wondered were Napoleon was and got up slowly to search for him, even as his head continued to throb.
He checked the kitchen, no Solo. After a moment, he headed upstairs and checked the bedrooms, his bed was still rumpled from the previous day, but the other beds were still made. Where could Napoleon be? Then he remembered the attic, and that comment Napoleon had made about using it to go to escape. He quietly made his way up the steps. There sat Napoleon on an old rocking horse looking as dejected as Illya had ever seen him. Going over he squatted in front of him trying to make eye contact. “Napoleon, what’s wrong?” he asked softly.
Napoleon lifted his eyes to look into the clear blue eyes of his partner. “You could have died,” he choked out and looked away.
“I could die everyday and so could you, but I didn’t,” Illya asserted.
Napoleon just shook his head and Illya felt like taking him in hand and shaking him, so he did.
“I’m fine,” he said exasperatedly, their mouths just inches apart, when suddenly they heard a door slam. Both men stood up reaching for guns they weren't carrying. Swiftly they ran down the stairs, Illya coming to an abrupt stop as he glanced into the living room. He was still standing there staring when Napoleon came up behind him with a note.
I just stopped by to check on dinner. I also left a few
presents for both of you under the tree.
PS. Don’t worry about the cost I charged them to your
Napoleon read aloud, then he noticed that the lights on the tree were lit and there were presents underneath it.
The two exchanged glances, Illya started. “I wasn’t expecting…”
“Neither was I. Let’s go see what we got.” Napoleon true to his word headed toward the tree.
They both squatted in front of the tree with Napoleon sorting thought them. There were six packages in all, three for him and three for Illya. He passed Illya’s over to him and watched with amusement as he sat Indian style on the floor. Gesturing grandiosely, Napoleon offered, “Go ahead, open them.”
Making himself comfortable, one knee up, he watched as his partner gingerly took one of the packages and weighed it in his hands, than shook it, listening. Finally, he tore the paper off to reveal a bottle of his favorite vodka. With a smile of delight, he turned to the next package to repeat the same process, opening it to find a cashmere sweater in the same color blue as his eyes. Napoleon couldn’t help but notice how nice the sweater looked and the look of wonder on Illya’s face as he fingered the soft material. He had to bite his tongue when Illya brought it up to his face and rubbed his cheek. Letting out a sigh of contentment Illya reluctantly set the sweater aside and started on the last present. Napoleon couldn't help but laugh aloud when Illya pulled out a pair of red silk boxers with reindeer on them.
Looking at Napoleon with dismay Illya asked, “Why aren’t you opening yours?”
Napoleon picked up his presents. “Because, I was having fun watching you open yours.” He proceeded to tear the wrappings off his. He wasn’t surprised to find a bottle of his favorite Scotch, and a sweater, his in a warm brown, as well as a pair of green silk boxers with Santa’s on them.
Illya seemed to find the last amusing. “Maybe we should try them on to see if they fit,” he joked.
Illya moved closer. “Napoleon?” he purred.
Napoleon looked up absently. “What?”
“Have you ever made love under a Christmas Tree?”
Napoleon’s eyes got big. Illya had a devilish small on his face. “Does the time I was ten count?” he asked tentively.
“I don’t think so,” Illya said, as he got closer still, almost on top of his partner.
“Can I plead the fifth?” Napoleon choked.
Illya looked at the bottles on the floor puzzled.
“That’s not what I meant and you know it,” Napoleon said exasperatedly.
“You have still not answered the question.” Illya’s mouth was mere inches away.
“If I say no, do I get to find out now?” Napoleon breathed closing the gap between them and taking Illya’s mouth with his.
When they finally parted, Illya said breathlessly, “You’re very good at that.”
Napoleon smirked. “I’ve had lots of practice.” Grabbing his partner, he pulled him to lie flat on the floor to repeat the process. After awhile he came up for air. “I didn’t know you liked being kissed so much.”
“Neither did I.” He pulled Napoleon’s lips down again. “Napoleon, shouldn’t you be doing something more?”
Napoleon pulled away and looked down at the man he was holding. “Hey, buster, this is an equal opportunity relationship. You can start something too, you know.”
Reaching up to grab his partner’s crotch, Illya responded with amusement, “You mean like this?”
“Ahhh, exactly like that.” Napoleon leaned back down to take more advantage of the situation.
“Napoleon, do you trust me?” Illya asked once they broke for air again.
Napoleon looked deep into the blue eyes and spoke with his heart, “With my life.”
Mama Joe stood in the doorway looking in, shaking her head in disgust she headed toward the kitchen muttering, “It’s a good thing I forgot the pie, the way those two boys are going they’d a burned the dinner.”