The Valentine Vigil Affair
Napoleon Solo sat beside the bed and watched his partner's chest rise and fall slowly. Sitting by Illya's bedside, waiting for him to waken had become a common occurrence throughout their partnership, but it was not what he had planned for their first Valentine's day as a couple.
No, the plans for the day had included a romantic breakfast in bed, tickets to a matinee performance of a Russian ballet troupe, dinner at one of New York's finest restaurants, and ending with an early night. Napoleon had called in every favor he was owed in order to make sure that neither he nor Illya would be working this February 14th. Everything had been planned to perfection...until a supposedly routine courier mission had gone dramatically wrong and put paid to all plans of a happy day.
Napoleon shifted awkwardly in his chair. Although a relatively comfortable piece of furniture, spending so many hours in it was doomed to render even the softest of cushions a true pain in the ass. He squashed that random thought. How could he complain of discomfort after what Illya had been through. There was a flicker of movement from the man on the bed and Napoleon leaned forward holding his breath.
Illya's lips moved silently and he shifted restlessly on the bed, but after a few seconds his body relaxed again and Napoleon sank back into the chair, disappointment etched on his face.
Resuming his vigil, Napoleon noticed that a clump of Illya's hair had fallen out of position exposing a small area matted with dirt and a little blood. "You're not going to be too happy with that," he thought to himself, a slight smile playing on his lips in spite of his concerns.
While Illya could never have been accused of being overly vain about his appearance—that was an insult reserved solely for his partner—his one true vanity lay with his hair and woe betide anyone—THRUSH or UNCLE who threatened it. Napoleon had teased him mightily after one incident where Illya had bribed a hairdresser not to cut it. And that hadn't been the only occasion upon which Illya had taken his vanity to an extreme.
Several months earlier they had been trying to get close to an eccentric but brilliant scientist who had possible links to THRUSH. After a few unsuccessful attempts to infiltrate his laboratories, they had realized that one of the man's eccentricities was that he would only deal with red-haired people.
It had taken much persuasion from Napoleon before Illya had reluctantly agreed to submit his hair to an amateur dye job and emerge as a red head. Fortunately the plan had worked and he was able to get into the laboratories and snoop through the files. As it happened, the scientist had not been working with THRUSH and when approached by a representative from UNCLE section 8 (red haired of course) had shown himself most willing to work for the forces of good rather than evil.
Not that that was any consolation to Illya, who had spent much of the next week in the shower in a series of attempts to restore his hair to its natural blond condition. It had been on one of those occasions when Napoleon had called round to his apartment to check on his progress. Illya had answered the door, dripping wet from the shower, a towel wrapped around his waist. Seeing him standing there glistening, the wet strands of hair plastered to his skull, it had taken all Napoleon's self control not to simply take him there where he stood. But he had exercised all his willpower and waited until the door had been shut and locked behind him. Then he had pounced.
Napoleon sighed heavily. There wasn't really any point in his being there. Illya was completely unaware of his surroundings and would remain so until he woke up. Napoleon knew that his presence wouldn't hasten that occurrence, but still he sat and waited. After all, it wasn't as if he had anything else to do...not alone anyway.
Illya started to move restlessly again. Napoleon watched him carefully...this was different from the last time...could he finally be about to wake? There was only one way to find out. "Illya?" he said softly. "Illyusha, come on my friend, it's time to wake up."
Illya's eyes slowly flickered open. A smile twitched at the corner of his lips as he focused on Napoleon. "Napasha?"
"Good morning sleepy head," said Napoleon as he slid onto the bed beside his friend. "Or should I say Good afternoon."
Illya looked at him in puzzlement before glancing at the clock. "How long have I been out for?"
"Almost twelve hours...you were barely able to walk when you got back." Napoleon bent his head and brushed his lips gently against Illya's. "I'm sorry that the courier mission didn't turn out to be quite so routine as expected."
The 'routine' mission had taken almost twenty hours instead of the expected three. Illya had returned to their apartment footsore and exhausted after having spent much of the time walking through the streets of New York trying to find his contact and lose the THRUSH agents on his tail.
"You should have woken me earlier," said Illya, tracing a line around the contours of Napoleon's face. "I have ruined all your plans for the day."
Napoleon silenced him with another kiss. "My main plan for the day was to spend as much time as possible with you. And I think that that part of it succeeded."
"But I was not supposed to be in bed asleep!"
"Well there's still time to get out of bed. We've missed the ballet, but we can still make the restaurant and have an early night."
Illya reached out for Napoleon and pulled him on top of him. "Or we could just skip the restaurant and go straight to bed."
"Haven't you wasted enough time in bed already today?" teased Napoleon.
"Time spent in bed is never wasted...especially when it is with you my love."
"I couldn't agree more," said Napoleon, as he fastened his lips over Illya's.