Originally written in 2004 revised 2009
(Everyone has secrets)
Napoleon Solo pulled up in front of Del Floria’s Tailor Shop with a feeling of unease. He had stopped, as was his practice, to pick up his partner for the drive to work when he was in town. This had been a regular routine for years ever since they had become permanent partners. This morning Illya had not been waiting. It wasn’t the first time, but Solo felt uneasy about it.
Napoleon wasn’t sure when it had all started. When it was that he’d first became aware that he could tune into Illya’s mind. Sometimes he could sense the Russian’s emotions; sometime he felt he could even pick up on his thoughts, though for the most part he was sure Illya was unaware of it.
When they’d gotten back from their last assignment, Illya thoughts had been somehow …different. Their parting that day had been somewhat strained. Now alone at headquarters Napoleon was worried. He closed his eyes and reached out with his mind, trying to establish the link he had with Illya. Finally he managed to locate him, his mind seeing the location through his partner’s eyes and he wondered why his Russian partner was in such a dowdy and cheap motel. Something was definitely wrong, Napoleon could feel the pang of loneliness radiating from Illya, the wanting of something he knew he couldn’t have and it pained him. Suddenly it hit him, what Illya needed or thought he needed, causing Napoleon to rush to where Illya was at that moment, in the hopes of forestalling the inevitable.
Napoleon stood in the hallway of the dingy hotel knowing that something was intensely wrong. Illya wasn’t just his partner, he was his friend. After a minutes hesitation he knocked.
“How did you find me?” Illya opened the door and asked in resignation; his eyes red from too much drink. Napoleon knew he had come here to take care of his ‘problem’, his need for physical contact, but had turned to vodka instead.
“It’s what I do,” Napoleon responded lightly, pushing the door open and slipping inside, then he looked around the small room, wrinkling his nose in distaste. It certainly wasn’t the Ritz.
“Go away,” Illya growled and turned away as he plopped down on the creaky bed.
“Sure, I’ll go, as long as you come with me.”
“It will do no good. You can not give me what I want.” Illya closed his eyes wearily.
“Illya, what is it you want?” Napoleon’s heart skipped a beat and he decided to take a risk. “Is it love or just sex?” he asked his curiosity getting the better of him. He thought he knew but he wasn’t sure, couldn’t be sure until Illya confirmed it.
“Is there a difference?” Illya asked; his voice dull.
“Yes. Sex is…. fleeting, merely a few minutes of pleasure. I should know.” Solo thought to himself with a sigh. He really hated seeing Illya like this. “Love on the other hand… I’m not sure I know what love is. Maybe love is nothing more than pain.”
“Perhaps sex is all I need,” Illya said moodily, his eyes hidden behind the one arm he’d thrown over his face.
“No…it’s not all you need,” Napoleon said as he knelt beside the bed. “I may not be able to love – but I do care.” Napoleon got up to walk to the window unable able to look at his partner. I care enough that I don’t want to hurt you, physically or emotionally. You are important to me, maybe too important. Sometimes that scares me.”
“Napoleon, you don’t know what it is that I want, what I need.”
That wasn’t true. Napoleon glanced at his partner, now he knew exactly what Illya wanted – needed. He knew because he felt the same way. Sometimes he yearned to cover Illya’ lips with his, to hold him in his arms, but he didn’t want to have to hide how he felt.
“Illya, this isn’t really what you want,” Napoleon responded sadly. I could give in now. I want to give in, to possess you, and have you possess me. But it wouldn’t mean anything, not to you. It would be fleeting at best.
“What if I do want it and want it now?” Illya insisted as he got off the bed to confront his partner.
“Sometimes we shouldn’t have things just because we want them.” Napoleon paused as he tried to think of a way to get his meaning across. “My Mother used to make the best chocolate cake in the whole world. So good I would want to eat the whole thing at one time. But she knew I could get sick if I ate it all, so for my own good she wouldn’t let me. This is the same, for your own good.”
“Perhaps you wouldn’t have gotten sick?”
“Oh, but I did. Even though she said not to I ate the whole thing and she was right.” Napoleon laughed mirthlessly. “I can’t stomach eating that cake now.” He watched his partner, could feel the need eating away in him. He found he couldn’t take it anymore and he had to do something.
Napoleon grabbed Illya and pushed him against the wall. “Look I know this is just… a stop gap if you will,” he said hoarsely as he got down on his knees and rubbed the area that bulged through Illya’s pants. As he pulled the hard erection out he paused to savor it before taking it into his mouth and sucking slowly, gradually increasing the suction until the stream of hot semen gushed into his mouth. It has been so long and you feel so good he thought as he licked the now lax penis clean and put it back were it belonged. Illya leaned against the wall that he’d been braced against barely able to stand as Napoleon got up and walked out the door without looking back.
Napoleon got home and leaned against the door trying to slow down his heart rate. God it took everything I had to keep from turning Illya around and taking him …fucking him. He felt guilty about just the thought and of how much he would have enjoyed doing exactly what Illya wanted. He found he couldn’t sleep, so he went in search of a drink. Sitting in his chair he drank and wondered. What do I do now?
There was a knock at the door; one glance at the clock told him that it was three in the morning. He knew who it was without having to check. Illya stood there disheveled and bleary eyed and he pushed past Napoleon to enter.
“Who is it that hurt you so badly?” Illya demanded.
Napoleon wasn’t about to tell him, he’d sworn to himself that he would never to tell. Not even U.N.C.L.E. knew. It was something he planned to carry to his grave. He closed his eyes. In spite of all his promises to himself he heard himself say in a voice that sounded dreamy and far off, “Did I ever tell you I took tennis lessons when I was young?”
Illya raised an eyebrow and shook his head.
“I started when I was six.” He smiled as he remembered. “My mother thought it would be good for me. You know how mothers can be. I wasn’t big enough for football and baseball scared her. I wasn’t very good at it, but the coach kept telling my mother I had potential and that private lessons would help.” He knew he shouldn’t tell the rest, but for some reason he couldn’t stop, after all it had been bottled up inside him for so long. “I was ten the first time.”
“The first time? Napoleon, I’m not sure I understand,” Illya said softly.
“The first time he touched me… that way.” He closed his eyes. “The worst part is not that he…touched me.” His voice went down to a whisper. “The worst part was that I enjoyed it.”
Illya came closer offering his nearness as support.
“He made me promise not to tell.” Napoleons voice got stronger. “He said my mother would hate me if I told.”
“He was wrong.” Illya’s chin had come up defiantly.
Napoleon refused to turn and look into Illya’s eyes. “No, he was right ….because , you see when I was fourteen, I gathered up my courage and told.” He laughed and paused to wipe away a tear that threatened to fall. “You know what, he was right. No one believed me.” Clearing his throat he continued, “I always felt it was my fault. That I could have stopped it somehow; that I shouldn’t have enjoyed it so much.”
Illya pulled him close in a tight embrace. “You are wrong,” he whispered into his friend’s ear. “It was no more you’re fault…then my wanting you is mine.”
Napoleon let himself be held. The shame was still there, but somehow it didn’t hurt so much.
Illya took him by the hand and led him into the bedroom, removing his clothing he got into the bed with his partner. “You were right you know, about me. But perhaps if we take this slowly, one step at a time, we can find satisfaction for both of us.” He pulled Napoleon close. “Tonight we sleep and tomorrow…who knows.”