yumyumpm: Napoleon and Illya (Man from UNCLE)
 Damn If I Know

By YumYumPM

2006

(What if something happens to Illya while they are not on assignment?   How will Napoleon handle it?  Damn if I know.)

December 31, 1969

 

Normally Napoleon Solo enjoyed celebrating the New Year.  He nearly always starting it out with an enjoyable bang...providing THRUSH didn't try to do him in first.  This year the female staff of U.N.C.L.E. seemed intent on pestering him about his plans for New Years Eve.   What plans he had were now irrevocably changed.  And now it was New Years Eve.  

 

The day had proven to be the longest Napoleon could ever remember.  It was all he could do to keep his mind on year-end reports.   Eventually Solo arrived at the reception area, anxious to leave. 

 

“Na-pooo-leon?” a sultry female voice sang as he started to exit through the changing room into Del Floria’s.

 

Solo closed his eyes and silently counted to ten before snapping.  “No.  I don’t want to join anyone.  I don’t want to celebrate.  I just want to be left alone.” 

 

“Really, Napoleon,” Mark Slate's voice rang out indignantly.  “That is no way to talk to my partner.”

 

Napoleon opened his eyes to look at the woebegone face of April Dancer.  His voice softened.  “I’m sorry April.  I thought you were someone else.”

 

“It was my fault.  I should have realized,” April apologized.  “Mark and I are having a quiet evening at my apartment.  Why don't you join us?”

 

“No,”  Napoleon refused, his voice sharp.   He took a deep breath, then softened his refusal.  April did not deserve the anger that he had directed at her.  “Thanks for the offer, but I don’t think I’d be very good company.”

 

“Look, old man,” Mark offered.  “If you should change your mind…”

 

Napoleon sadly shook his head, not trusting his voice enough to thank them for the thought.  He just wanted to leave U.N.C.L.E. and everyone in it behind. 

 

The sounds of happiness cut through him like a knife as he made his way to his apartment building.  Once inside he automatically locked his door and set the alarm.  He pulled out the envelope, with his name written across the front in his partner's scrawl, that the Legal Department had handed him before his departure and stared at it.  For the first time since the events on Christmas Eve Napoleon, finally alone in his apartment, broke down.

 

mfu.

 

On this particular Christmas Eve all the section two agents that were in town had adjourned to the commissary to help decorate a Christmas tree.  Egg nog had been passed around and there was Christmas music playing softly in the background.   The decorations were either handmade and edible ornaments,  or castoffs from previous Christmas'.  Even his stoic Russian partner had been there, a rare occurrence.    Napoleon remembered Illya moving toward him to take an ornament that he held out in his hand, a pleased smile lighting the Russian’s face when...it happened. 

 

He remembered the shocked look on Illya’s face as a shot rang out and the bullet struck the Russian agent in the back.  That moment was forever burned into Napoleon’s mind. He would forever remember the light leaving the blue eyes as death claimed his partner and friend.   In the background  Napoleon barely heard the shrieks from the clerical staff, nor noticed the medical personnel’s quick arrival, as he held his partner in his arms.  All to no avail.  Illya was gone.

 

In spite of being frozen inside he had managed to snap out of it, becoming all business, doing what had to be done.  Ordering that no one move, that everyone stay in place.  Only the medical staff and the Russian’s lifeless body had been allowed to leave the room.  Everyone was a suspect and a special team had to be called in to investigate.  Finding the gun had been easy.  Finding the person who had pulled the trigger had not.  After an intensive investigation, they had found the culprit.  The worst of it was not finding out that someone he had known had pulled the trigger.  The worst of it was that Illya had not been the intended target.  He had.

 

He had even managed to hold it together, although he felt like an actor in a bad movie playing a part as he attended the funeral, saying a final goodbye.  Remarks had been made that he was cold and unfeeling toward his partner’s death, but he couldn’t help it.  It was his job.  And it wasn’t true; a part of him had died that day along with his partner.

 

How he had managed to get through the past week he never knew.  He only knew that he had no desire to see the New Year in.  Not without his partner.  Alone in his apartment he gave himself permission to finally grieve, then he made himself a drink and withdrew his gun from his holster and laid it on the counter. 

 

Only then did he open the envelope.   He started laughing and was unable to stop.  The sheets of paper were entirely blank. Tears were running down his cheeks, of course they were blank.  The Russian with his warped sense of humor had probably used invisible ink.

 

Napoleon downed his drink in one shot, and brought the barrel of the gun to his head.

 

mfu

 

Outside Napoleon’s apartment Mark tried to pull April back.  “April, we shouldn’t be here.  Napoleon needs some time alone.”

 

“Mark, I just have this terrible feeling,” April protested as she started to knock at the door.  The report from a gun cut off anything further April might have been planning to say.

 

“Oh, shit,” Mark cursed as he threw his shoulder against the door.

 

mfu

 

A specter dressed in black watched from the corner of the room.  It had been strange watching his lifeless body being carted away, but oddly liberating.  He’d approved of Napoleon’s professional handling of the incident.  He had been following Napoleon around not knowing what else to do.  For some reason, there had been no white light to take him to a better place.  Fortunately there had been no fire and brimstone waiting for him either.

 

He had tried many ways to get the American’s attention, but nothing worked.  He had even stood at his side, at the gravesite.   He had not mistaken his partner’s reticence for not caring, as had others.  He knew the dark-haired agent better than that.  He would have left Napoleon alone if he could have.

 

He knew that Napoleon was deeply upset at his loss.  So much so that he was near to taking his own life.  If only there were something he could do.  He just needed time to figure out how to stop this travesty.  Unfortunately, time had no meaning for him and it was fast running out for Napoleon.  It was one moment until the clock struck midnight.

 

He moved closer to the despondent agent and did something he had never done before.  He prayed.  Miraculously his prayer was answered.

 

mfu

 

January 1, 1970 

 

Napoleon Solo squinted, his eyes partially open.  Where was he?  He tried to move his arms, but they were strapped down.  He looked down at his body and found himself clad in a hospital gown.  A hospital?  Is that where he was?  Why was it that hospital personnel always refused to turn out the lights? 

 

A dark form loomed to one side.  His eyes focused as the silhouette assumed the shape of his partner.

 

“You’re dead,” Napoleon croaked.

 

Illya nodded.  Must Napoleon state the obvious?  Death still felt unreal.  He existed, yet he didn’t.  He was neither hot nor cold.  He just was.  He could still feel the fear that ran through him as Napoleon brought the gun to his head, and he realized there was nothing he could do.  In his present state of nothingness, he could not connect.  Somehow, by accident, he managed to slide inside Napoleon, becoming a part of him.  That and the knocking at the door were the only things that managed to avert the tragedy that was about to happen.

 

“I’m not dead,” Napoleon stated, sounding disappointed.

 

“Be thankful that you are not.  It is not something I would wish upon anyone,” Illya replied solemnly, surprised when Napoleon turned to the sound of his voice.  He hadn’t been sure he could be heard.   

 

Napoleon dropped his head back onto the thin pillow.  “I’ve really screwed up this time.”

 

“No more than usual.” 

 

“What would you call waking up finding yourself strapped to a bed and talking to someone who isn’t there?”

 

“A typical assignment?”

 

“You’re dead,” Napoleon repeated emphatically.

 

“Obviously,”  Illya observed dryly.

 

Their discussion was cut short by the sound of a key turning in the lock and the door opened to admit the doctor.  Seeing his patient awake Dr. Samuel Reins said with fake joviality.  “Well, Mr. Solo, how are we feeling today?”  At the sight of Napoleon’s fierce glare, the doctor cleared his throat before continuing. “Yes, well.  Let’s get started then shall we?”

 

“First, could you do something about this?” Napoleon asked, pulling against the restraints that held him down.

 

“All in good time,” the doctor stated as he pulled up a chair next to the bed and flipped through his chart, his pen poised to write.  “Tell me what you remember.”

 

Illya read the chart over the doctor’s shoulder.  There were a lot of conjectures, no real facts.  “Tell him you don’t remember.” 

 

Napoleon lifted his head, the lines in his forehead creased, to look at the image of his partner.  “Um…about what?” he asked the doctor.

 

“Hmmm,” Dr. Reins said, tapping the pen on the chart.  “What is the last thing you remember?”

 

Illya was pacing.  “Whatever you do, do not tell him you tried to kill yourself.  Tell him the last thing you remember is decorating the tree in the commissary.”

 

Napoleon frowned.  “Being in the commissary decorating the Christmas Tree.”

 

“And your partner?”  queried Dr. Reins.

 

“Illya?  He was there too.”  Napoleon kept the pain he felt from showing on his face.  “What’s going on?  Why am I here?”

 

Dr. Reins looked intensely at Solo for a few minutes before slowly closing the metal covering of the chart.  “Tell you what, why don’t you just rest for a while and I’ll get right back to you.”

 

As the doctor rose from his chair and made for the door, Napoleon demanded, “Hey, let me loose first.”

 

***

 

“You need to sleep.”

 

“No.  What if I wake up and you're gone.”  Napoleon stretched out a hand.

 

Illya had no answer for that.  He didn’t know if he would be there longer or not.   Illya reached for the outstretched hand, his own, sadly, slipped through.  Unable to connect in an ordinary fashion, Illya once again slid through taking possession of Napoleon’s body.  He had no idea how he managed it, he just did.

 

He could feel Napoleon’s body shudder in reaction.  Then the laughter that filtered from his mouth.  “When I thought of you being inside me, this was not how I pictured it.”

 

Illya rose halfway out of Napoleon’s body, staring in astonishment at the recumbent form.  “You’ve thought about me that way?”

 

The dark brown eyes crinkled with amusement.  “Not often, but yes.” 

 

It was shocking in a way.  Napoleon was handling this very well.  Much better then he was himself.  “You don’t think I’m a figment of your imagination?”

 

“If you are, I wish never to be sane again,” Napoleon said with feeling.

 

Illya lowered himself again, finding shape and substance.  He experimentally raised a free arm, surprised that he could do so.  He touched the face, feeling the cleft chin, the distinctive mole.  He ran the fingers through dark hair. 

 

He willed the eyes to close and they did.  Shortly after he felt Napoleon slip into sleep, and he lay within him keeping watch.  He was debating on doing something he had never done before, exploring Napoleon’s body with Napoleon’s hands when the door to the room opened admitting a nurse.

 

She checked Napoleon's vital signs, then brushed an errant strand of hair back, before leaning forward to plant a chaste kiss on Napoleon’s forehead.  Illya decided it would be best to leave the exploration of Napoleon’s body to another time and place, when there could be no embarrassing interruptions.

 

He lay there and surprisingly enough his consciousness faded too.

 

mfu

 

A feeling of panic engulfed Napoleon as he opened his eyes the next morning.  'Please don’t let last night be a dream' he thought sincerely.  He fought to regain control of his breathing as he looked inward, and managed to breath easier when he felt the stirring of his partner’s presence.

 

The doctor entered, his eyes upon the medical chart in his hand, and cheerfully started remarking on the state of Napoleon’s health.  Napoleon had to press his lips tightly together as Illya murmured droll comments that were interspersed with the doctor’s.  Comments only he could hear.

 

After making some notes, and consulting the chart yet again, the doctor decided that Napoleon could be sent on his way.   A much relieved Solo, hurriedly dress and left U.N.C.L.E. headquarters post haste.

 

 

Once Napoleon returned home he paced his apartment, going from one room to another.  His release had been too easy.  He was right to be worried.  In each and every room he found a hidden video camera.

 

Since the night before his discharge he hadn’t felt his partner’s presence.  Without Illya there to center him he felt bereft.   He stood in the middle of his living room trying to come to some sort of decision.  Should he disable the cameras?  Bad idea, they obviously didn’t trust him, after all why set up cameras?  Hell he didn’t trust himself.  Would they let him work in the field again?  Problematic. 

 

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.  When he opened them, Illya, a wicked grin upon his face, was sitting on his sofa, his arms stretched out across the seat back and his feet, ankles crossed and clad in flip flops, propped on his coffee table. 

 

Napoleon did his best to keep his face blank and walked out the door of his apartment.  Illya was already in the hallway waiting for him.

 

“Where have you been?”  Napoleon asked and felt foolish doing so.

 

“Isn’t that my line?”  Illya blinked.

 

“They have cameras all over my fucking apartment,” Napoleon ranted.  He frowned.  “What’s with the weird footwear?”

 

“What?  They are no different from those stupid clogs you wear.  Calm down.”  Illya ordered.  “Do you trust me?”

 

Napoleon looked doubtful.  “Trust you?  I’m not sure that I trust me!”

 

“Trust me.”  Illya demanded and pointed to the door.

 

Going back inside, Napoleon held the door for Illya only to find that he was already in the apartment.

 

“I wonder if they’ve bugged the bathroom,” Napoleon muttered, he felt a headache coming on. 

 

mfu

 

From that day forward they had a new type of partnership.  One that U.N.C.L.E. was not aware of.  Napoleon became the best 'solo' agent U.N.C.L.E. had and that was because he wasn't alone.

 

"Owww!"  Napoleon moaned from the cot.  Having been caught and worked over he wondered what had happened to his early warning system.

 

"Napoleon?"

 

Napoleon turned his head, finding Illya looking down at him through the bars of his cell.

 

"Where the fuck have you been?"  Napoleon groaned.

 

Illya shrugged.  "I'm not really sure. One moment I with sitting next to you in your car, the next I was...elsewhere."

 

Sitting up slowly and somewhat painfully, Napoleon asked.  "Can you get me out of here?"

 

Early on they had found that Illya could now manipulate things.  Locks, guns, lights.  And hands.  Napoleon was familiar with masturbation, but jerking off had taken on a new meaning with Illya. Strangely that talent had saved Napoleon's ass on more than one occasion.  It was an interesting way to keep Napoleon's mind distracted when things went wrong.  When things got rough on an assignment, Illya got horny.  Half the time it kept Napoleon  incapable of chasing after a pretty skirt, usually the wrong skirt, and landing in more trouble.

 

Normally Illya focused on the lock and within seconds there was a click.  Not this time.

 

"Ah, Napoleon." 

 

"What?"  Napoleon snapped.  He turned his head in time to see Illya fade from sight.

 

Five years later, on New Year's Eve, Napoleon limped down toward the banquet hall of a local hotel.  The limp had been a souvenir of his last official assignment as an agent and the last time he'd seen of his partner.  Tomorrow he would no longer be employed and he wasn’t sure how he would handle that fact.  All his friends were to be here to wish him a fond farewell.   He stopped in front of a full length mirror to check his attire.  Reflected in the mirror was a face he thought never to see again.  The man who had shot Illya all those years ago stood behind him aiming a gun at Napoleon's back, his face twisted into cruel snarl.  Napoleon had thought him still in jail.

 

Napoleon went to pull out his gun, debating on switching from sleep darts to real bullets when suddenly Illya appeared in behind him like an avenging angel just as the assailant's gun went off. 

 

“Noooo!” Napoleon cried out.  Not again, he can’t go through this again.  He couldn’t help but watch the refection in the mirror.  There was a look of surprise on Illya’s face, which quickly changed to anger.  His hand reached into his advisory’s chest and pulled out a beating heart.  Illya’s face took on a stunned look as the blood dripped through his fingers.

 

“Hell, Illya, just how am I supposed to explain that?”  Napoleon demanded as soon as he got his breath back. 

 

Illya threw him a devilish grin, the grin left his face as the heart slid from his hand when Napoleon slumped to the ground just as everyone came pouring out the banquet room.  Even the most hardnosed of them were sickened by the gruesome sight.  .  Lying splayed out in the middle of the marble floor was the one man that Napoleon would have thought had everything.  Stefan Valdar, the husband of the only woman that Napoleon Solo had truly loved.  His blue eyes wide open in horror, his bloody heart lying atop his chest.   On the floor in front of the mirror Napoleon's body lay crumbled.  Screams rang out from every side.

 

Though nobody notice, standing in his place was a much younger Napoleon then the one from that Christmas that had ended his life.  Napoleon moved closer so that he was standing next to Illya to stare down at the body

 

"I suppose I should never of had that curse put on him," Illya said pragmatically.

 

Napoleon looked up dumbfounded.  "What curse?  And why?"

 

"It was nothing, really.  You were hurting, even the gypsies could see it.  Sooo....when they offered..."  Illya shrugged.

 

Napoleon shook his head and stared at Illya with amazement.  "All this because of Clara Richards?  Do you have any idea of how guilty I've felt all these years?"

 

Illya just stood there, his head down.  The curse had given the man boils, caused his farm to decline, made him lose his hair.  But he had never lost the one thing that should have mattered most to him.  The love of his wife.  So, no, it was not because of Clara.  Not that Illya would ever say so.

 

"So what now.  Heaven or hell?"  Napoleon asked.  The past already forgotten.

 

"Damn if I know," Illya responded.

 

Napoleon slung his arm over Illya's shoulder and the two walked off toward whatever the future might hold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

yumyumpm: Napoleon and Illya (Man from UNCLE)
 

Alarm Bells

By YumYumPM

Originally written in 2003 revised

 

Act I-Rue the Day

 

Napoleon whistled as he wandered into his office, not surprised to find Illya already there.

 

“Have an enjoyable time last night?” Illya asked, not looking up from his report.

 

“Ohhhh, yes.  It was very invigorating,” Napoleon said as he sat down.

 

Illya smirked.  Invigorating – an interesting choice of words.

 

Napoleon glance up, noting the satisfied smile on Illya’s face and alarm bells went off in his head.  “So how was your evening?” he asked not sure if he wanted to know the answer.

 

Illya thought about it for a moment before replying, “Invigorating.” 

 

The alarm bells were going full tilt.  Napoleon cleared his throat to ask casually, “Just how invigorating?”

 

“Really, Napoleon.  Just….invigorating.  Can we drop the subject,”  Illya answered.

 

Napoleon felt a tightness in his chest, though he wasn’t sure why. Something was wrong. Illya wasn’t looking him in the eye. 

 

George Dennel walked into the room just then.  “Hi, Napoleon.  Here’s the report on the latest….blah..blah..blah.”  Napoleon wasn’t really listening his eyes were on Illya who was studiously ignoring him. Dennel finally turned to leave.  “By the way, Illya.  Did you and Mark have a good time last night?”

 

Napoleon’s eyes widened.  Illya’s face turned red, and then his expression turned placid.  “Yes, thank you,” he answered politely.  Illya sent a quick glance Napoleon’s way and turned pale at the fury he saw directed at him.

 

Dennel left the room never knowing about the havoc he left behind.

 

Illya and….Mark?  Perhaps he had heard wrong.  But one look at Illya’s face confirmed it.  The Russian could hide things from others, but not from him.  Napoleon went livid, the pen in his hand snapped as he kept his eyes on his partner.  He threw the pen aside and got up from his desk.  He wasn’t thinking he was just reacting as he headed for the door.

 

“Napoleon, no,” Illya said as he got between Napoleon and the door.

 

Napoleon didn’t stop, brushing the Russian hard enough to one side that he fell over his chair onto the floor.  Outside the door, Napoleon quickly set the lock, making sure he could not be followed.  Then he set out briskly down the hall. 

 

He and Illya were partners and friends and after stressful missions they were even lovers.  Yes he was selfish. There was no way on God’s green earth that he was going to share what he felt was rightfully his.   He worked hard keeping that sorry bastard alive for him and him alone. 

 

As the door to Mark and April’s office slid open, his only thought was that Mark was going to rue the day he’d been born.

 

Act II: Having Your Cake and Eating It Too

 

Napoleon stormed into Mark and April’s shared office.  Grabbed the back of Slate’s jacket and forcefully pulled him from the room.  April ran to keep up with him, pausing as they entered the Men’s room.

 

Napoleon opened a stall door; thrust Mark roughly in, then brought his livid face inches from the startled Brits.  “What the hell have you been doing with my partner?”  Napoleon snarled.

 

Illya, his appearance a bit bedraggled, appeared as April stood at the door, uncertain as to whether to enter the bathroom or not.  He gently pushed her aside and entered the bathroom.  “Napoleon, stop.  It’s not his fault.”

 

Napoleon’s eyes burned into the young Englishman’s before he hurled him out of the stall and stood there, his fists clenching and unclenching.

 

“Mark, leave,” Illya requested quietly.  His eyes remained focused on the American’s back as Mark, with amazing speed, slipped out the bathroom door.

 

“Why?  Just tell me why?” Napoleon demanded, anger evident in every word, his back still to his partner.

 

“Why?  Why do you feel the need to bury yourself in every woman that passes your way?”  Illya asked reasonably.  “You have no more claim on me then I do you. You weren’t there, Mark was.”

 

Napoleon worked hard to control the hurt he felt from showing as he slowly turned around.  Illya was right as always.

 

“Why didn’t you call me?” Napoleon asked.

 

Illya looked away. “It is not in me to beg.  Besides would you have come?”

 

Napoleon walked up to Illya, taking his face between his hands and looked deep into the troubled azure eyes.  “If you need me…call.”

 

A shy smile lit the Russian’s face.

 

“Promise me never again,” Napoleon demanded.

 

Illya considered.  Mark had been very, very good.  He was no Napoleon, but then who was.  Illya had enjoyed being the domineering one for a change and who knew when Illya might need to be that again.  “Perhaps,” he replied, hedging his bets. 

 

Napoleon pulled him into a warm embrace, satisfied for now.  After a moment the two men exited the Men’s room, surprised to find several fellow agents blocked from entering by April, Mark being nowhere in the vicinity. 

 

With a look of gratitude toward her, Napoleon pushed Illya ahead of him down the hall toward their office as he called over his shoulder ordering his fellow agents to carry on. 

 

Illya stopped after two steps. “I’ll be with you in a moment,” he told his partner.  He turned and flashed a wicked smile back to the stunned April.

 

‘Who said you couldn’t have your cake and eat it too,’ he silently mouthed before turning and continuing on his way down the hall.

 

 

Act III-Jealousy

 

Napoleon started for their office, and then changed his mind.  Needing to get away, to think over his actions, he roamed U.N.C.L.E. headquarters until he found the deepest, darkest spot he could find, a dimly lit circular metal stairway that was so remote he doubted if anyone remembered it was there anymore.

 

One bulb at the top of the stairway lit the passage as he stopped halfway down and sat running his fingers through his hair wandering what had possessed him.  He should never have lost it like that, especially here at U.N.C.L.E. headquarters. He had no right to make demands of Illya, no right at all.  Illya was right, he had no claim to him and it was slowly eating away at him.

 

He remembered Illya’s responses to his demand.  Perhaps.  A word that stuck in one’s throat and ate at his gut. He folded his arms across his knees and rested his head upon them.  Here in this dark, dank stairwell he admitted to himself what the problem was.  The fear of losing his partner.    If Illya was finding pleasure with someone else, how soon would it be before he didn’t need him anymore? Perhaps it was already too late; he may have already lost his friend and partner.

 

The more he thought about it, the more he realized his actions had been motivated by jealousy.  It was not a sensation that he was used to feeling.  No one had ever managed to get close enough to him to evoke the emotion.   It had reared its ugly head and refused to be brushed away. 

 

He clamped his lips tightly together as he worked felt his eyes prickle.  He was an U.N.C.L.E. agent and agents did not cry.  Hell, he hadn’t cried at the death of his parents nor his wife’s all those many years ago.

 

Napoleon raised his head as footsteps sounded on the narrow metal steps, stopping behind and above him. Napoleon didn’t have to turn to know to whom they belonged to.  Who else would have the tenacity to come looking for him, and the ability to find him?  He could hear the swish of cloth as Illya sat down, one foot resting on either side of him.  “I’m sorry,” Napoleon croaked in a low voice.

 

“You should be,” Illya stated calmly.

 

Napoleon would have laughed, but his eyes were burning, a tear threatening to escape.

 

A hand lightly stroked the back of his head, down his neck to rest on his back, a small sigh escaped.  “Napoleon, you are my partner.  Not my keeper.”

 

The simple touch sent shivers down Napoleon’s spine and he remained silent waiting for the denouncement he knew was coming.

 

“Mark will undoubtedly be staying out of your way for some time.  You should not have scared him like that,” Illya chastised lightly.

 

Napoleon’s rage had been such that if Illya had not stopped him he would have done serious damage to the Brit and that scared him.

 

“You will apologize to him, will you not?” 

 

Napoleon nodded not trusting his voice.

 

“Ah, Napoleon, what am I to do with you?”  Illya’s voice was light with a tinge of amusement.  It was the straw that broke the camel’s back and try as he might not to a sob escaped Napoleon’s throat.

 

“Napoleon?”  Illya asked. His palm reaching to turn his partner’s face toward him met with wetness.  Shocked he let out a sigh and rested his head against Napoleon’s back.  “I’m sorry.  I didn’t know,” he said softly.

 

With an intake of breath, Napoleon replied equally low, “Neither did I.”

 

Illya kissed the top of the dark head, patted Napoleon on the back and got up.  “When you have composed yourself we will talk, yes?”

 

Napoleon nodded, listening as Illya turned and slowly walked back up the stairs.  Away.

 

 

Act IV-Mine

 

Illya was worried, he checked his watch.  It was way past time for Napoleon to have stopped sulking.  He was tired and wanted to go home.  Putting away his work he started his search in Napoleon’s office only to find he was not there.  He sat on the desktop and called downstairs, thinking that Napoleon had left without him and was relieved to hear that the records showed that he was still inside the building.

 

He began his search in the most obvious places.  The bathrooms, the commissary, the secretarial pool, the gym.  He even contacted Mr. Waverly’s secretary.  If Napoleon was doing this to get back at him…it was working. 

 

Fear gripped him as he decided to check the stairwell where he had last seen Napoleon.  The closer he got, the more his fear grew.  He opened the door, noting that the stairway was in darkness.   Flicking on the light, his heart almost stopped as he saw a body lying crumbled at the bottom of the stairway.  Rushing down, he grabbed hold of the stairwell, having almost slipped as his foot skidded on something slick. 

 

He reached the bottom and checked Napoleon’s neck, relieved to find that there were signs of life.  Removing his jacket he bundled it up placing it under Napoleon’s head the pulled out his communicator to make his call for help.  “Agent down.  Stairwell 3B.”

 

Sitting down on the nearest step he actually began breathing normally again.  The questions of how Napoleon had ended up at the bottom of the stairwell would have to wait.  He frowned as he noticed all the blood pooling from beneath Napoleon’s head.

 

The doctor arrived first almost skidding down the stairway himself.  He looked up and yelled.  “Careful, there’s something slippery on the stairway.”

 

Illya moved to one side, making room for the doctor, having no idea how they would manage to get a gurney down.  He shivered as a slight breeze swept through him.

 

The doctor knelt down and pulled out his stethoscope to check for a heartbeat.   His eyes were sympathetic as he looked up at Illya, before calling to the male nurses.  “Take your time, there’s no rush.  Just throw me down a blanket.”  He caught it and spread it over Napoleon covering his face.

 

‘Nooooo!’ Illya screamed inside his head. 

 

Two weeks later Illya sat in Mr. Waverly’s office.  The report on Napoleon’s death sat in front of him.  The slippery substance on the step had been identified as blood, Napoleon’s blood and Napoleon’s death ruled a suicide.  Illya could not believe it, true Napoleon had been…not himself.  But to end it all?  No, that Illya could not, would not believe.

 

The door slid open and Mark Slate entered the room.

 

“Mr. Kuryakin, I have decided transfer you to our London Office along with another of our agents. You have worked with Mr. Slate before I believe.  I’ve made the decision to pair the two of you together. ”

 

Illya blinked in disbelief.  Napoleon wasn’t even cold in the ground and they were making plans to replace him?

 

“It will be a pleasure,” Mark said warmly.

 

Looking up behind Waverly’s shoulder Illya spotted a saddened Napoleon dressed in a white linen suit.  He clutched his chest as a sharp pain hit him.   Darkness descended and he slumped forward.

 

The next thing he knew he was looking down, his body having been pulled from the chair to lie flat on the floor.  Waverly was shouting over the intercom system for medical while Mark was attempting mouth-to-mouth respiration.  The door swished open and four men along with a gurney rushed in. 

 

“What happened?”  The lead doctor called out as he pushed Mark out of the way to begin examining Illya’s body.  Waverly gave a concise account of what had occurred.   In short order the room turned into a madhouse as he called for a set of defibrillators and hurriedly ripped the white shirt opened. 

 

“Am I dead?”  Illya asked calmly.

 

Napoleon shook his head and moved closer to his partner.  “You’re in transition.  Soon they’ll be able to restart your heart and after a couple of month recuperation you’ll be shipped off to London with Mark as your partner.”

 

Illya sent a sharp look to Napoleon, who looked angelic.  “Tell me you did not kill yourself,” he demanded.

 

Napoleon sighed.  “It was stupid.  I realized it the moment you left.  I was on the way back up to tell you how sorry I was about the way I behaved when the lights flickered and I slipped.  When I tried to catch myself, a sharp edge of the railing dug into my wrist.  I hit my head on the way down and never felt a thing.  The rest is history.”

 

A slight smile lit Illya’s face.  The fact that Napoleon’s death wasn’t intentional came as a big relief.

 

“It was my time,” Napoleon offered.  “That does not mean that it is yours at least right now.”

 

“And just when is my time?” 

 

Napoleon looked away not wanting to answer.

 

“Napoleon?”

 

“You survive.  You and Mark go to London.  You pull away from all your friends, then one day while on assignment in Yugoslavia, Mark will arrive too late.”  Illya could see tears glistening in Napoleon’s eyes.  “That has always been my greatest fear that one day I would arrive too late to save you.”

 

The doctor was working frantically squirting gel on the almost hairless chest.  He checked the paddles and ordered the minimum voltage while a tech did CPR.  He called “All clear.”  And everyone backed away as he applied the paddles.  Illya’s body jerked but nothing happened.  The doctor called for an increase in voltage and was ready to try again.

 

“Do I have to?”  Illya asked.  “Do I have to live?”

 

Napoleon’s smile spoke volumes as he snapped his fingers and the lights went off.

 

“Shit,” yelled the doctor.

 

When the lights came back on Illya and Napoleon were floating above everyone.  Illya looked down seeing his dead body on the floor surrounded by medical personnel.   He wanted to feel sorry for causing everyone pain, but he couldn’t find it in himself.

 

Napoleon reached out his hand and Illya took it.  Soon they were moving in a slow circle, their clothing having disappeared.  They came together and kissed, their bodies clinging tightly together as they twirled faster and faster, their kissed deepened until they rose upward into a bright light.

 

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