by Cord Smithee


As far as I know, these characters belong to Norman Felton and some massive media empire. Any monies should be directed to those people, not me.

Allons! Maybe we go sweat you a little bit, eh, poosseecat?

Desperately unfair of him, really, to say it like that. Sultry and controlling, rich with promise, and dripping enough sex to make the poor benighted jewel thief do a triple-take as Napoleon muscled his partner out the door. His partner, whose face was a quite creditable mask of apprehension, but who was shaking in his grip not with terror but with brutally controlled laughter, laughter he barely held onto until they were in the stairwell, away from the jewel thief and his accomplices.

And then Illya fell against the wall, coughing, shaking Napoleon's grip free of his wrist so that he could clutch the banister and bend forward over it, his hands clenched on the iron rail with enough force to make the veins stand out in tight relief across the backs, laughing so hard that Napoleon was reduced to standing behind him, patting him on the back, half-holding him upright and hoping he wouldn't choke. While keeping his own body angled enough to hide the evidence of his own criminal intent. The overcoat, at least, would help conceal a multitude of sins.


It wasn't that he'd never thought of Illya that way, of course. To look at Illya was to think of him that way, if you had any inclinations in that direction at all. But Illya wasn't nearly as oblivious to his own raw sex appeal as he liked to pretend he was, and Illya had never dropped a hint that he harbored any such perversions. And Napoleon had done a pretty good job of keeping their interaction professional, or friendly, as circumstances warranted--

Until he'd found himself pressed up hard against that lithe, slender body, and his prankster side had gotten the better of him--been unable to resist the horrifyingly broad innuendo, knowing what his partner's response would be, and...

...startlingly unready for how the sight of Illya's wide eyes and bitten lip would flicker up his nerves like bridging electricity, fat blue sparks powerful enough that the contact should have locked his fingers around Illya's wrist. Almost did; it hurt to uncurl his fingers and let go.

"Inspector—" Illya wheezed, at last, sliding the beret off his pale hair and shoving it into his jacket pocket. Then he had to cough for another thirty seconds before he could finish the sentence. "Inspector Javert? Napoleon, some day we will run across a criminal who is well-read, and you will get us both killed."

"It hasn't happened yet," Napoleon replied, as Illya turned, eyes sparkling like wet aquamarines, still snorting with laughter. And stopped short, as his gaze locked on Napoleon's. Stood like a deer in headlights, like a bunny staring down the barrel of a shotgun, his beautiful mouth half-open and his too-sharp chin tilted up.

Christ, Napoleon realized. Never mind the stiff dick. It's written all over my face.

Illya took a step back, or tried to, but the railing caught him across the small of the back, and his hands wrapped around it as if to keep himself from falling over, or from flying apart.

"Illya—" Napoleon said, and stepped back as far as the stairwell permitted. "—I—" There was nothing to say. Nothing that could make any difference. But he had to try anyway. "—I didn't, ah, didn't mean anything by it—"

"Nothing?" Low, and soft, and dangerous, almost a purr. Pussycat. Eyes suddenly cold as chips of glacial ice, and he came a step closer, and Napoleon was suddenly aware how precarious their balance on that landing was, because his knees wanted to go to water, as all that deadly brilliant focus was suddenly turned on him. Napoleon gasped, but the burning along his nerves must have used up every atom of oxygen, because the air he gulped did nothing to ease the ache in his lungs.

"N—nothing," Napoleon assured, hands splayed on the wall beside his hips, at his point of final retreat. As Illya closed another step, near enough that Napoleon could taste his breath, and leaned in to examine him as if he were a specimen under a microscope, and Napoleon started praying that he could find a way to salvage the friendship, at least, if not the partnership--

"Pity," Illya said, and slid his left hand under the flap of Napoleon's trenchcoat, in between Napoleon's thighs, and slowly--luxuriously--squeezed, his gaze never shifting from Napoleon's. "Because I had thought you were going to take me back to the station house, Inspector Javert. And, ah, sweat me a little bit."


Illya's hand was strong, so strong, his grip slow and thoughtful and examining, as measuring as his gaze. He came closer, so close that there was nothing Napoleon could do about it except wrap his arms around Illya's shoulders and waist and hold on for dear life.

"Am I wrong?"

Napoleon shook his head, and Illya, impossibly, pressed closer, his eyes wide, a sneer Napoleon recognized from his cut-throat role curling his upper lip. He licked his lips, transparent invitation, and tilted his head to one side. "I cannot afford to go to jail, Inspector. As you have said yourself. I am known to you. If I am convicted again, they throw away the key. N'est-ce pas?"

Effortless. It was always effortless, and Napoleon picked up his cast-off role like a sportcoat and shrugged it back on. "Are you indicating a willingness to bargain, pussycat?"

Illya nodded in time to the motion of his hand, his eyes huge and guilefully guile-less, and Napoleon almost laughed. Might have laughed, had it not been for that gentle, rhythmic caress that sent shuddering tidal waves through him.

"Are you going to take me downtown, Inspector? My poor invalid mother will starve if I go to prison, monsieur. I will do what I have to do to stay a free man."

Napoleon swallowed, found his voice. "Well, ah. You know. The station house is blocks. And blocks. Away."

"Oui, Monsieur Javert?" A quirk of the corner of Illya's lip, masterfully controlled, and Napoleon couldn't bear it for another instant. Had to taste, had to know. His left hand clenched on Illya's hip, bone of his pelvis a ridge under Napoleon's thumb, and his right hand came up and clamped on the Russian's short colorless hair, and he dragged Illya's body against him, chest to chest, groin to groin, mouth to mouth, tongues like blind snakes prying at one another, and if nothing else had convinced him--not the smooth clench of Illya's long muscles under his hands, not the searing hardness of Illya's cock pressing his hip, not the eager flicker of his tongue--the low, gritty groan that edged between his teeth when Napoleon sucked his tongue into Napoleon's mouth would have done it.

"Blocks," Napoleon murmured a moment later, breathless, incapable of feeling anything except the hunger in the slight, powerful body that pinned him to the wall.

"I do not wish to go to the station house, m'sieu." Breathless, and not quite Illya's voice. A scared voice, a little bit lighter and quicker, with just enough stagecraft in it to let Napoleon know not to believe it for a minute. "But these are the back stairs. Perhaps I could arrange to pay my debt to you here—"

"It's hardly private."

"The basement level is unlikely to be used—"

The basement, in fact, was empty. And there was a niche behind the lowest riser of the stairs which, judging from its spiderweb population, had not seen so much as a chambermaid in fifteen years.

"Hardly romantic," Napoleon said, as Illya took him by the wrist.

"Romance is a French perversion," Illya replied, sounding abruptly like Illya again. "Suitable for lapdogs. In cold climates, we prefer more strenuous ones." And with as little ceremony as that, he thrust Napoleon against the rough brick wall, dropped to one knee, shoved Napoleon's overcoat aside and unbuttoned Napoleon's fly with fingers that were startlingly nimble. "What are your feelings on the subject of teeth, Inspector Javert?"

"All things in moderation," Napoleon answered. "Including modera--oh."

Strenuous indeed. There were no preliminaries, not even so much as a caress, another kiss. Illya simply flattened Napoleon's hips against the wall with powerful hands, ducked his head, and swallowed Napoleon's cock with as much aplomb and professionalism as any Parisian streetwalker. The solid thump that followed, Napoleon realized a dizzy second later, had been the sound of his own thick skull striking the wall. The hair between his fingers was as pale as dusty sunlight in the shadows, the scalp and bone underneath warm and solid, strands rasping as he surrendered to the touch and rubbed his palms, his own square fingers over Illya's head. He gripped bone, moaned low in his throat at the wetness, the softness, the pressure, the heat. He could still taste Illya's mouth on his mouth, hear the intensity of his voice, feel the ache building so incredibly fast to a white-hot, agonizing flutter in his groin. So fast, too fast, too hot, and it was going to be over while he wanted it still to be building, before he even had a chance to memorize the texture of Illya's skin, the heat of his mouth, the scrape and suction and roughness and hardness and softness, the coarse silk of his hair.

It was a sheer act of will that Napoleon didn't shout out loud when he came, especially when Illya ignored his mumbled warning, broad hands spread wide over his pelvis, and pulled Napoleon's arching hips forward until Napoleon could feel the soft, straining depths of his throat. Dear god--

The blindness lasted seconds. He clung to the wall for safety. Long enough for Illya to stand and start sorting Napoleon's shirt-tails out, buttoning and tucking, and step back, and run both hands through his badly-cut hair, and start to turn away.

A breath that came out a gasp, and too much desperation. "Illya—"

"Napoleon?" And he turned back in the darkness under the stair, and his eyes were calm, amused, Illya's eyes again, and his arms were folded over his black-clad chest, and only the grey dust on the knees of his trousers showing anything but perfect poise. And their eyes met, and Illya smiled, his own small shy smile in all its transient sweetness, and Napoleon breathed a soft sigh of relief, because while there was a certain melancholy in Illya's eyes, there was no anger, and no resentment. "I cannot be your... pussycat out in the world, Napoleon. The world will not permit such things."

It twisted like a knife in his gut, and in Napoleon's case, that was more than a colorful metaphor. He's saying it can't happen again. And that was so unfair, so brutal, to brush up against the object of one's desire for a red-hot second, just long enough to be branded by it, not even long enough to really taste, and then to be forbidden it forever—"Then what the hell was this? Why—"

Illya's face smoothed, except for the worry-line between his eyes. He looked down, patting his beret back into place with both hands. "So you would know," he said, and tried to raise his eyes, and failed. "So we would have, at least, the memory."

"Because the world does not permit such things."


"Then the world can go hang," Napoleon answered, and took the three steps forward to take hold of Illya's shoulders, hard, and tilt his head back, and find and kiss his mouth until Illya, startled, kissed him back. Aggressively, tasting of salt and bitterness and those vile Italian menthol-and-licorice pastilles he devoured by the handful. "The world can just fucking go hang."

"Waverly?" Illya said, when Napoleon gave him a chance at breath, but he didn't try to step away again.

Napoleon swallowed. "Waverly tolerates a certain amount of eccentricity in his agents." Which was true enough: Illya's inability to get along with anybody, Napoleon's womanizing, Slate's absentminded-professor persona, his sexism, and his abysmally poor dress sense, the foibles of all the other Section Two agents--they were the prices Waverly paid for the most effective field team in the spy game. He put up with the agents that couldn't be bent to more bureaucratic wills, the ones who washed out of, quit, or got fired from other services--not for lack of capability, but for lack of willingness to work the system--and they loved him for it, every one.

"Homosexual behavior is hardly an eccentricity, Napoleon," Illya protested, and there it was, hanging between them, the word for the line they'd crossed. Napoleon caught his partner's wrists again, and Illya did not tug away.

"You're right," he said, and kissed Illya again, and Illya leaned into it like the kiss was life-giving air--reluctantly, but quickly capitulating, as if there had never been any doubt he would. "It's far more common than that."

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